September 1989. The Communist government in East Germany is on the brink, desperately clinging to power through the iron grip of the Stasi. One of the most formidable intelligence services the world has ever seen, the Stasi has one informer for every seven residents of East Germany, plus countless armed guards, special jails, and nightmarish interrogation centers. But even the Stasi cant stop the rebellion that ends in the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is in these last few frenzied weeks that Brandenburg Gate is set.
Dr. Rudi Rosenharte, formerly a Stasi foreign agent, now an art scholar living in Dresden, is sent to Trieste to rendezvous with his old lover, Annalise Schering. The problem: Rudi knows shes dead. He saw her lying in her own bloodied bathwater, and then kept her suicide a secret.
The Stasi believe Annalise is returning to the fold with vital intelligence. To make sure Rosenharte plays the game while in Italy, they have imprisoned his family. But the Stasi is not the only intelligence agency using Rosenharte. Soon the British and the Americans encircle him, forcing him to choose to either abandon his beloved brother to a torturous death or return to East Germany as a double agent.
Brandenburg Gate is a brilliant, gripping, and multilayered espionage thriller that captures the fall of the Berlin Wall, the most important geopolitical event of the last fifty years, as shocking and unexpected as it was revolutionary.
This is a first-rate thriller, comparable to
the best of Le Carré or Littell. Porter
juggles a complex plot and a large cast of
well-developed characters with aplomb, but it is
his depiction of the dying days of East Germany,
and the massive reach of the secret police
required to maintain a country set to implode,
that raises Brandenburg Gate above the
level of mere entertainment. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Booklist - David Wright
Although a mite overstuffed, the novels engrossing plot, convincing tradecraft, and vivid depiction of a ruthless totalitarian regime losing its stranglehold ... prov(e) that the golden age of spy fiction isnt over yet.
Starred review. It's easy to see why this riveting read won the CWA's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.
Beautifully researched and rich in incident and intriguing characters, this tour de force ... has as many twists as a mountain road but is never confusing.
The Sunday Telegraph (UK)
An accomplished retro-thriller . . . warmly recommended. Henry Porter has fast become one of the masters of the genre.
The Sunday Times (London)
A first-rate thriller . . . Porter sustains an elaborate plot skillfully and portrays memorable, multifaceted characters.
The Berlin Wall fell
my husband and I
procrastinated. We sat
in our small London
house saying to
ourselves that we really
should go and see it,
but we'd just got back
from our honeymoon, and
there were things to do,
thank you cards to
write, jobs that we
shouldn't really take
any more time off from -
and as a result we
frittered away the
opportunity to see
first-hand one of the
most momentous events of
the 20th century.
Fortunately, there are
writers such as Henry
Porter who bring the
events to life in novel
form, and now the
internet where we can
live vicariously through
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