Book review: Leaving Berlin

Leaving Berlin is set in Berlin during the time of the Berlin airlift. Alex Meier, a writer, has returned home following the war and is working for the CIA in an attempt to help him in his case in America to secure access to see his child. However, the German and Russian authorities believe that he can help them, leaving Alex unsure who he can trust beyond his childhood sweetheart, Irene. Being unsure who he can trust, things go wrong and results in tragedy.

I took a bit of time to get into the book as the characters and plot were being set, but once I had, I enjoyed it a lot. Kanon writes in a realistic and descriptive style, not wasting any words. Unlike other thrillers, Kanon does not rely on lots of over the top action to keep the plot moving forward. There is a very deliberate build up and the tension increases by the page as Alex runs out of time and options. Kanon has been compared with John Le Carre and it is easy to see why with his creation of a genuine Cold War thriller.

Rating (out of 5): ****


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