Review: Nightfall Berlin – Jack Grimwood

Nightfall Berlin Jack GrimwoodMy version: Hardback
Genre: Fiction Spies, East Berlin
Michael JosephPenguin Random House
First published: 2018
Bought, signed

From the cover:

In 1986, news that East-West nuclear-arms negotiations are taking place lead many to believe the Cold War may finally be thawing.

For British intelligence officer Major Tom Fox, however, it’s business as usual.

Ordered to arrange the smooth repatriation of a defector, Fox is smuggled into East Berlin. Bit it soon becomes clear that there is more to this than an old man wishing to return home to die – a fact cruelly confirmed when Fox’s mission is fatally compromised.

Trapped in East Berlin, hunted by an army of Stasi agents and wanted for murder by those on both sides of the Wall, Fox must somehow elude capture and get out alive.

But to do so he must discover who sabotaged his mission and why…

There is a super-doopah Speesh Reads Nightfall Berlin Pinterest Board with pictures of places featured in the book and links to atricles of interest while you read it

Jack Grimwood
“Read my book or the puppy gets it”

A very good, satisfying read, if sometimes a little soft on the tension, the excitement and the suspense, though full of excellent period detail and a finely worked undercurrent of long-forgotten wickedness, having the potential for devastating the story’s ‘today.’

The main thread is the English intelligence officer Tom Fox, being sent over to East Berlin to escort the former convenient socialist, the Englishman Sir Cecil Blackburn, back to the West, where he has finally decided he wants to die. At least, that’s what he is saying. Both sides think something else, and both sides want to stop him, or at least keep him quiet, for different reasons. That’s the situation in the present, however, ot is what is in Sir Cecil’s past that is interesting many people, on both sides. Though ‘interesting’ is perhaps not what you’d really describe the sort of secrets Sir Cecil has hidden. all these years. But kept a record of…or has he.

Nothing is straightforward in this tale. It’s not exactly twisty-turney, as it really takes all the right turns as the story develops. Just enough information seeps out of it to keep you on the edge of your eyeballs. I’m a sucker for all things Berlin and ‘old’ Germany these days, as maybe you (who’ve read the blog for a while) are aware. The situation in East Germany is excellently portrayed here, without going into the nerve-stretching reality of day to day life over there at that time. The character of Tom Fox is very well drawn, as is his son, and the turning point of the book, Charlie. I could well imagine this being made into a film before too long.

You can buy Nightfall Berlin from

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