Jack Teller is through with the CIA—until the Berlin station is contacted by a Colonel in the East German Stasi just days before President John F. Kennedy's scheduled visit to the Wall. The Stasi officer has an important message—and he will speak to no one but Jack.
The informant claims a treacherous plot is brewing to assassinate the American president in Germany—a conspiracy originating at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Only Jack Teller believes the threat is real, and it has left him alienated and alone in a divided city that holds too many dark secrets. And if he forgets the two essential truths of the espionage game—that lies are currency and nothing is what it seems—he won't live to prevent a global catastrophe.
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Tom Gabbay is the author of The Berlin Conspiracy and The Lisbon Crossing. He previously worked for NBC Entertainment as director of children's and comedy programs, and was creative director of the production partnership between NBC and ITV Television in the United Kingdom. He lives in Europe.From Publishers Weekly:
Wallowing in a post–Bay of Pigs funk, ex-CIA agent Jack Teller is called out of retirement in 1963 and sent to Berlin to meet an East German agent with a message for Jack's ears only in the debut of screenwriter and former TV producer Gabbay. Jack is floored by both his contact's identity and his information about a plot to kill President Kennedy during an upcoming visit to West Berlin. His dormant idealism roused, Jack delves into the conspiracy while dodging the threats of corrupt CIA higherups and falling in with colorful residents of Berlin's Cold War demimonde. Mixing cynical world-weariness with dead-pan humor and a refreshing lack of Bond-style omnicompetence (random mishaps include a nasty dog bite and a disastrous attempt to shoot off a pair of handcuffs), Jack's story is part John le Carré and part Elmore Leonard. Gabbay constructs the thriller as a dress rehearsal and what-if scenario for the actual Dallas assassination. With rogue intelligence operatives, gangsters, Texas tycoons and a mob of snipers, coverup hit men, fall guys, fall guy impersonators, and miscellaneous functionaries all jostling each other, the plot's many moving parts make the climax a virtual parody of ponderous JFK conspiracy theories. But until this odd turn, Gabbay offers a stylish thriller with an appealing hero. (Jan. 3)
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