Excerpt from Brandenburg Gate by Henry Porter, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Brandenburg Gate

By Henry Porter

Brandenburg Gate
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2006,
    448 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2007,
    448 pages.

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Jay set off in the direction of the Grand Canal while Harland turned from the sea and headed for an old insurance building near the Carabinieri headquarters, where Ludovico Prelli was running the Italian surveillance operation as a personal favor to Harland. On reaching the building he passed a security check at the door and leapt up the echoing stairway to the first floor, where two men inspected his diplomatic passport. He was directed through a wide passage that was filled with some of Prelli’s team of watchers. From within Prelli’s office, a little way along the passage, Harland heard the low, humorous growl of Alan Griswald, his CIA counterpart in Berlin, who had excused himself from a family holiday in Venice to be in Trieste for the next twenty-four hours.

"Hey there," said Harland." What news from the Rialto?"

"Nothing, ’cept I doted on your very absence, Bobby," replied Griswald.

"It’s good to have you here. Thanks for coming."

"It was wonderful but I couldn’t look at another Tintoretto ceiling."

"Has Ludo filled you in on what just happened in the Old Port?"

Harland shook Prelli’s hand and gave him the wallet. "He was a Pole named Grycko. A shoe salesman. Does that mean anything to you?" Griswald shook his head." What did he die of?"

"Heart attack, maybe.  He had a lot of saliva around his mouth. Maybe poison was involved, but my man tried to give him the kiss of life and he seems to be okay.  Anyway, we'll have the post-mortem results by tomorrow. Right, Ludo?"

"No, by this evening, I think," said the Italian.

Harland sat down. "What did the police think of Rosenharte? What was his mood like when they took him back to the hotel?"

The Italian pressed his fingertips together and looked thoughtful.

"The police say they thought that he did not want to show what he was thinking. He was shocked but he controlled himself, like you English." He smiled at Harland.

Harland nodded, picked up the straw hat, which had been retrieved from Molo IV, and examined the inside rim. "I wonder who the hell he was," he said.

Excerpted from The Brandenberg Gate, (c) 2006 Henry Porter. Reproduced with permission of Grove Atlantic. All rights reserved.

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