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.
Edge of the Void
The man in the straw hat dogged his footsteps from the first, keeping
his distance, yet never bothering to hide himself. Rosenharte saw him
loitering outside the hotel when he checked in, then at the conference
centre and later sitting at a cafe in Piazza dellUnità, a mournful fellow
with a washed-out face, who wore the hat unconvincingly on the back
of his head as though hed just won it in a shooting gallery.
At times he got so close that Rosenharte could see the ventilation
holes in the side of the hat and a mark on the narrow brim. He wanted
to be seen that much was clear and once or twice Rosenharte
thought he was going to approach, but then he seemed to decide
against it and darted away into a side street.
He wondered if the man was the visible part of the Stasis surveillance operation in Trieste, put on his tail to remind him of their presence. Though he didnt need it; they had made it clear to him ...
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).
Full Review (728 words).
As 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. ...
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