The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

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Editor's Introduction
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Literary Fiction


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Biography/Memoir


History, Current Affairs and Religion


Science, Health and the Environment


Travel & Adventure


Young Adults

Literary Fiction

  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (rated 4/5)

Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
  • Blog:
    6 Novels for Book Clubs That Reflect on Reproductive Rights
  • Wordplay:
    T O Thing W H T F I F I
  • Book Giveaway:
    Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket

Winter Work
A novel
by Dan Fesperman
12 Jul 2022
352 pages
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Thrillers
Critics:
Readers:
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An exhilarating spy thriller inspired by a true story about the precious secrets up for grabs just after the fall of the Berlin Wall - from the acclaimed author of The Cover Wife

On a chilly early morning walk on the wooded outskirts of Berlin, Emil Grimm finds the body of his neighbor, a fellow Stasi officer named Lothar, with a gunshot wound to the temple and a pistol in his right hand. Despite appearances, Emil suspects murder. A few months earlier he would have known just what to do, but now, as East Germany disintegrates, being a Stasi colonel is more of a liability than an asset. More troubling still is that Emil and Lothar were involved in a final clandestine mission, one that has clearly turned deadly. Now Emil must finish the job alone, on uncertain ground where old alliances seem to be shifting by the day.

Meanwhile, CIA agent Claire Saylor, sent to Berlin to assist an Agency mop-up action against their collapsing East German adversaries, has just received an upgrade to her assignment. She'll be the designated contact for a high-ranking foreign intelligence officer of the Stasi, although details are suspiciously sketchy. When her first rendezvous goes dangerously awry, she realizes the mission is far more delicate than she was led to believe.

With the rules of the game changing fast, and as their missions intersect, Emil and Claire find themselves on unlikely common ground, fighting for their lives against a powerful enemy hiding in the shadows.

"[A] superb spy thriller...The action builds to a deeply satisfying denouement. Cold War-era spy fiction doesn't get much better than this." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An engrossing, deep-in-the-weeds thriller." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Dan Fesperman is one of my favorite thriller writers, and Winter Work is a brilliant addition to his magnificent oeuvre. Intelligently written and plotted, based on fact as gripping as any fiction and only improved by Fesperman's deft writing, Winter Work left me spellbound and hungry for another pass at his older books to relive these intense adventures." - Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sierra Six

"Winter Work vividly captures those chaotic first months after the Berlin Wall came down, with East Germany in free fall and once feared Stasi officers running for cover—into the hands of their former enemies. An entertaining thriller about a society turned upside down." - Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author of Istanbul Passage and The Good German

"Winter Work is just fantastic. With a meticulous eye for detail and a true feel for the unsettled tension of the times, Fesperman pulls the reader deep into the chilly world of an empire crashing with an utterly compelling story. Out-of-work Stasi officer Emil Grimm is one of the best characters I've read in years." - Olen Steinhauer, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Tourist

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Mahendar Roy
A thrilling tale of espionage set in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Very good to get this interesting information about Germany.

Dan Fesperman first began writing about dangerous and mysterious people and places as a journalist, a newspaper career that culminated in his years as a foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. Reporting from Europe and the Middle East, he covered three wars while also finding the time to write his first three novels. He then quit the newspaper biz to write fiction fulltime, and now travels on his own dime.

He grew up in Charlotte, NC, and, as a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a diehard Tar Heel. He is married to the journalist Liz Bowie, and they live just north of Baltimore. Their two children have moved off to adventures of their own.

Dan's thirteen critically acclaimed novels of intrigue and suspense have won two Dagger Awards from the UK Crime Writers Association, the Dashiell Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers, and the Barry Award for Best Thriller, and have been selected as the year's best mystery/thriller by USA Today.

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