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Wednesday 14 January 2015

'Acts of Omission' by Terry Stiastny

Published by John Murray,
17 July 2014.
ISBN 978-1-444-79429-1

This is set in 1998 in London.  A computer is mislaid and, though it is found, a disc is missing.  The recreation of the atmosphere of  late 90s London is excellent as is the impression of the fast regenerating city of Berlin.

The significance of this disc is slowly revealed partly through the eyes of those embroiled with it.  The disc is a German one and refers to British informants to the Stasi.  Mark Lucas, who has just been made foreign minister believes in transparency and wishes it to be returned to the Germans.  The story becomes more complex as characters try to discover the significance of this disc to their own lives and careers.  Anna Travers is a young journalist who works to unravel the disc's secret’s, Alex Rutherford is the man who lost the disc in a taxi having taken it out of the office to work on at home though it was top secret.  Naturally his job in Intelligence is under threat.

The assassinations here are of reputations not lives!    This is a spy story in which the personalities of investigators, investigated and apparent bystanders are important.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is Terry Stiastny's first novel.  She is a former political reporter for the BBC.

Terry Stiastny is a former BBC journalist. During her BBC career, she worked in Berlin and Brussels, covered politics in Westminster and spent many years reporting for BBC Radio 4 news programmes from around the UK and abroad.Terry was born in Canada, of British and Austrian parents, but grew up in Surrey. She was educated at Balliol College and St Antony’s College, Oxford. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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