Henry. Brandenburg Gate. Atlantic Monthly Press. April 2006.
c448p. ISBN 0-87113-940-5. $24. Fiction.
Porter (Empire State), the
British editor of Vanity Fair, returns with a top-notch Cold
War thriller set in 1989 in the weeks leading up to the fall
of the Berlin Wall. Rudi Rosenharte, a former agent
of the East German Ministry for State Security (a.k.a. the
Stasi), is being forced back into service. The Stasi has arrested
his twin brother, Konrad, and is holding the man’s family
hostage. In his quest to free Konrad, Rudi must walk
a fine line among at least four intelligence services—the
British SIS, the CIA, the KGB, and, of course, the Stasi. The
East Germans believe that one of Rudi’s old lovers wants
to pass secrets to him, but he knows the woman died years earlier.
What he doesn’t know is who is manipulating
whom. Beautifully researched and rich in incident and intriguing
characters, this tour de force on a par with John le Carré
has as many twists as a mountain road but is never confusing.
root for the protagonist as he struggles to free his brother’s
family. Highly recommended for all public libraries.