The Berlin Letters

Katherine Reay

Harper Muse


Berlin, 1961: Haris Voekler is the star reporter for a top newspaper in Communist East GermanyHaris is a true believer in the system, but his wife Monica increasingly dislikes the totalitarian regime. Her parents fled to the West. Monica’s on the verge of following with her daughter, three year old Luisa, when one August Sunday night barbed wire is erected all along the border. It’s the beginning of the infamous Iron Curtain designed to prevent the population of East Germany fleeing to the West. Monica is almost too late, but she manages to throw Luisa to her parents across the barbed wire. Haris is appalled by her act. Suspicion from the notorious Stasi secret police falls on him like a cloud, damaging his career. When her parents emigrate to America with Luisa, Monica falls ill and dies. Haris becomes increasingly disillusionedand resolves to expose the regime.

Washington DC, 1989: Luisa is now grown, a US citizen and a CIA codebreaker. Her grandfather died the previous year leaving Luisa a hidden stack of correspondence from her father, whom she was told was dead. Haris’ letters are written in code to evade the Stasi censors, and as Luisa gradually deciphers them she realizes Haris and her grandfather were trading high level espionageincluding reports of a plot that, if exposed, could start World War III. Determined to rescue Haris, Luisa heads for Berlin. With no official CIA sanction, few resources, some cash and a lot of hope, Luisa sets in motion a plan so dangerous it risks everything she holds dear.

The Berlin Letters brings to life the drama surrounding the fall of the Iron Curtain as seen through the eyes of sympathetic charactersKatherine Reay has recreated the times with a consummate eye for period detail that will satisfy the most picky of spy thriller readers.