Berlin Walls by Bill Rapp
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love spy novels. As far as I’m concerned, nothing tops spy novels exploring the cat and mouse games U.S., British, and Soviet agents played at the height of the Cold War. Throw in some legitimate history – another subject I love to read about – and I’m in reading heaven.
Enter Bill Rapp’s Cold War spy novel Berlin Walls. Set primarily in Berlin in 1961, the novel’s backdrop is the construction of the Berlin Wall and the East German and Soviet attempt to stem the tide of people fleeing from the communist East to the democratic West. The protagonist, Karl Baier, is a CIA operative trying to help a longtime Soviet KGB agent, Sergei Chernov, defect to the West. At least that’s what Baier thinks Chernov is doing, but he can’t be sure because Chernov has some unfinished business to take care of. Baier can’t tell if he’s being played — and neither could I — until the story’s many branches and sequels come together in a surprising ending.
What I really like about Berlin Walls is it’s authenticity. The author, Bill Rapp, was a CIA analyst and senior executive for many years, so I felt like I was getting an insider’s view of the hazy world of international espionage, rather than the Hollywood view I typically see in the movies. On top of that, the book is a super-fast read. You can finish it on coast-to-coast flight and still have time to spare, and the suspense and intrigue will keep you guessing the entire way.
The bottom line is I recommend giving Bill Rapp’s Berlin Walls a shot – you’ll be glad you did. You can find Berlin Walls on Amazon by clicking here. Or, if you are in Chicago, pick up a signed copy at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore.