Snow Flurries: cold war consequences

Historical fiction doesn’t pay much attention to the German Democratic Republic. East Germany, we called it, the subjugated ruin of half a country which didn’t benefit from a Marshall Plan but which instead spent 41 years in the chilling isolation of the cold war, on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. In four short…

The Tehran Text: the psychic spy returns

  I’m a sucker for historical espionage thrillers. Alan Furst may be my favourite author of all time; Philip Kerr never fails to entertain and Olen Steinhauer has elbowed onto my ‘must read’ list. So now Nik Morton joins that cohort with the continuing adventures of covert English agent Tana Standish. Tana’s not simply a…

The Stalin Epigram: a story of Soviet oppression

Robert Littell normally writes intelligent, engaging espionage adventures which embroider upon historical events. Here he ventures further into the field of literary historical fiction to explore one aspect of life in the Soviet Union at the time of Stalin’s totalitarian regime in the 1930s. It’s not a comfortable experience, as Littell very effectively destroys the…

Prague Papers: a cold war psi story

There’s a particularly nifty twist to this espionage adventure, set behind the Iron Curtain in the mid-1970s. The smart, sexy female protagonist isn’t just a rare survivor from Warsaw’s WW2 ghetto. Nor is she merely a highly skilled covert operative, brought up by the British military establishment to be extremely effective against the KGB and…

Satori: Hel returns in a sudden awakening…

Readers who enjoy intricate novels of the Cold War espionage community, set against an historical background and involving many interweaving plotlines, should find ‘Satori’ an absolute delight. It is most definitely NOT an action-adventure shoot-em-up story. It is, however a tough book to review. Many readers will compare it to ‘Shibumi’, while others who haven’t read…