Archive for the ‘Cold War’ Category


Published: 9 February 2017
Reviewed: 2 January 2017

4 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by Bonnier Zaffre in return for an honest review



For me David Young has cemented his place on the bookshelf alongside my Cold War thrillers by John le Carré and Len Deighton.

You can buy a copy of Stasi Wolf here.

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Author: Greg Mitchell

Published: 20 October 2016
Reviewed: 7 October 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Bantam Press in return for an honest review



In the summer of 1962, one year after the rise of the Berlin Wall, a group of daring young West Germans risked prison, Stasi torture and even death to liberate friends, lovers, and strangers in East Berlin by digging tunnels under the Wall.

Then, as the world’s press heard about the secret projects, two television networks raced to be the first to document them from the inside, funding two separate tunnels for exclusive rights to film the escapes. In response, President John F. Kennedy and his administration, wary of anything that might raise tensions and force a military confrontation with the Soviets, maneuvered to quash both documentaries.

As Greg Mitchell’s riveting narrative unfolds, we meet extraordinary characters: the legendary cyclist who became East Berlin’s most wanted man; the tunneller who had already served four years in the East German gulag; the Stasi informer who betrays the ‘CBS tunnel’; the young East Berliner who escapes with her baby, then marries one of the tunnellers; and an engineer who would later help build the tunnel under the English Channel.

Capturing the hopes and fears of everyday Berliners, the chilling reach of the Stasi secret police, and the political tensions of the Cold War, The Tunnels is breaking history, a propulsive read whose themes still reverberate today.

My Thoughts & Review:

For years I’ve held a fascination with the Cold War period and eagerly read a variety of espionage thrillers, historical fiction and factual material recounting life during these times, so when I heard about this book I knew it wasn’t one to pass up the chance to get an early copy to review.

Greg Mitchell takes a fresh approach to recounting history, his writing style makes this book read like an espionage thriller but all the while is informative and insightful.  The numerous hours of research and investigating evidence for this book show in the detailed narrative and also through the cast of wonderfully intriguing characters.  Mitchell also shows thought towards his reader when he writes reminders about a character in the narrative – very useful when the cast list is extensive and it is easy to forget who had what role.

This is a book that is worth taking time to read, it’s not a quick read like the spy novels written by John le Carré or Len Deighton, but it is just as enthralling.  I can honestly say that I feel it was a rewarding read.  It added to my knowledge of the Wall and the politics of the time but the human element, the stories of the individuals involved in tunnelling made this a compelling read.
Being a child of the 1980s, I was too young at the time to realise what the Berlin Wall meant, too naive to realise how momentous its deconstruction was, but The Tunnels manages to convey the importance of the Wall its history in a way that brings it alive.  Forgotten details are brought to the fore and incorporated into what might possibly be one of the best non fiction books I have read this year, quite frankly, I would be tempted to say ever.

I would thoroughly recommend this book and you can order a copy of The Tunnels here. 


About the Author:

Greg Mitchell (born 1947) is the author of more than a dozen books. His next book, coming on October 18 from Crown, is available for pre-order and has already been optioned for a major movie with Paul Greengrass to direct. It is titled “The Tunnels” and explores daring escape tunnels under the Berlin Wall in 1962–and the JFK White House attempts to kill NBC and CBS coverage of them at the height of nuclear tensions.

Mitchell has blogged on the media and politics, for The Nation. and at his own blog, Pressing Issjes. He was the editor of Editor & Publisher (E&P), from 2002 to the end of 2009, and long ago was executive editor at the legendary Crawdaddy. His book “The Campaign of the Century” won the Goldsmith Book Prize and “Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady” was a New York Times Notable Book for 1998. He has also co-authored two books with Robert Jay Lifton, along with a “So Wrong For So Long” about the media and Iraq. His books have been optioned numerous times for movies (including “Joy in Mudville” by Tim Hanks). He has served as chief adviser to two award-winning documentaries and currently is co-producer of an upcoming film on Beethoven with his co-author on “Journeys With Beethoven.”


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The Fall of Moscow Station

Author: Mark Henshaw
Published: 2 February 2016
Reviewed: 30 March 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy supplied by Touchstone in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars



Decorated CIA analyst Mark Henshaw continues the Red Cell series with an “authentic, compelling, and revealing” (Jason Matthews) thriller following CIA analyst Jonathan Burke and agent Kyra Stryker, as they try to save the CIA’s sources in Russia after a major intelligence breach leaves Moscow Station in ruins.

When a body with Russian military tattoos is found floating in a lake outside Berlin, the CIA immediately takes notice. The body is identified as the director of Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Nuclear Research, who is also a CIA asset. And the murder coincides with the defection of one of the CIA’s upper-level officers. 

Alden Maines, is jaded after years in the CIA cleaning up the messes of incompetent political appointees in dangerous foreign posts. When he is passed over for promotion, Maines crosses the Rubicon and decides to cash in as a double agent for Russia.

But while Maines dreams of off-shore bank accounts and a new secret life, Arkady Lavrov of Russia’s intelligence service (GRU) has other plans. He immediately announces Maines’s defection to the world and then pumps him for every last ounce of intel, including the names of every agent in the CIA’s Moscow Station and their assets working in the Kremlin. But why would Lavrov burn an asset whose intel and access could pay dividends for years to come? What is Lavrov up to?

Traveling from Langley, to Berlin, and finally Moscow—working black without backup—analyst Jonathan Burke and agent Kyra Stryker are up against their most formidable enemy yet, and their lives and the fate of America’s most important assets in the New Cold War hang in the balance.

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