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Sunday 7 November 2021

‘Stranger from Berlin’ by Beverley Hansford.

Published by Matador,
28 June 2021.
IBSN: 978-1-80046330-1 (PB)

Tim Mallon meets Boris, an old University friend, and his partner Lena, who comes from Berlin. He is confused by their relationship as Boris behaves badly towards her and, therefore, cautious when Boris suggests that Lena should come and stay at his flat.  He does agree and, inevitably, begins to fall in love with her.  However, he can find out little about her past life and wonders if she has something to hide.  Then Lena is abducted and taken to Berlin.  Tim follows her and, in his attempts to find her, enters East Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie and learns that Lena has been arrested and possibly shot.  It becomes clear that he is going to have problems leaving East Berlin. and as he tries to escape, he finds out more about what has been happening to Lena.  He is fortunate to meet people who help him make a hazardous journey to safety in London, where further information becomes available.

Individuals who, almost by accident, become involved in the clandestine world of espionage, have featured in a number of books and this book provides an interesting take on that plot line.  The story makes good use of the divided city of Berlin as a backdrop for the story, while a wide range of characters (nice and nasty) contribute to uncovering what has happened to Lena.  The tension is nicely increased, as danger and anxiety, luck and chance, move the action along to its final resolution.

Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Beverley Hansford has written a number of books in a variety of genres. 

Beverley Hansford was still at school when he wrote his first book. His early writing calling came to an abrupt end when adult life got in the way. Now retired, Beverley has returned to writing and is the author of six books. Beverley lives in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Jo Hesslewood. Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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