Culture Street

Books

Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon

On November 16, 2015

leaving-berlin-9781471137068_hrBy Sophia Whitfield
A sweeping spy novel set in Berlin after the Second World War. Author Joseph Kanon has returned to the setting of his most successful novel, The Good German, which was made into a film starring George Clooney.

Alex Meier, a young German Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA in a bid to earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. Meier must satisfy the CIA while keeping ahead of his German investigators.

Things go wrong from the start with bloodshed and double-crossing on almost every page of this dramatic novel. Kanon paints a picture of the chaos that ensued in post-war Berlin where nobody can be trusted. Hardship and flawed morals are a given.

Social gatherings abound; Germans and Russians mingle as they ensure they are seen at cultural events. They enjoy Bertolt Brecht referred to as ‘Bert’ who seems all too keen to have an audience. It is at these events that Meier meets friends from his past.

He is quickly drawn back into his old life; meeting old friends from the past. He finds himself embroiled with a family he used to know where passions ran high and secrets were swept under the carpet.

Leaving Berlin is a gritty spy thriller filled with intrigue. Buy the book here.

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