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One frozen night in Germany, Tracy Barnes witnesses the killing of her lover by the secret police. Years later, when the Wall has crumbled and old enemies are new friends, Tracy encounters the murderer and plans to make him pay. But in a country still at war with itself, Tracy finds that she is being played as a pawn in a far bigger game of revenge that reaches all the way to Moscow. Crackling with suspense and finely realized characters, Dead Ground floodlights a chilling East Germany at the end of the Cold War, exposing some uncomfortable truths behind one of recent history's most important political transitions. This is spy fiction at its best: a mission of revenge, a haunting love story, and a chilling tale.
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Gerald Seymour is the smartest writer of international thrillers in the business. His books might not have all the literary trappings of a le Carré or the pretensions noir of a Deighton, but they are much more real and immediate. They read like stories ripped from foreign newspapers and fleshed out by a reporter with brains and a heart.
Dead Ground begins with a frightening incident at a British military base, when a female corporal savagely attacks a visiting German dignitary and accuses him of murdering her East German lover nine years before. The German, Dieter Krause, a former officer of the notoriously evil East German intelligence service called the Stasi, is close to the new chief of the Russian Army. Any scandal surrounding the two men could endanger relations among Russia, England, and America. The new, united Germany very much wants the whole incident to go away. As a marvelously pragmatic British agent named Perkins sums it up:
They're the power and the glory. We bend the knee to them. We grovel rather than offend 'greater' Germany. We slobber at the ankles of their chancellor, their Central Bank, their foreign ministry, their industrialists....
But the enraged British corporal, Tracy Barnes, doesn't know how to grovel. She heads off to the former East Germany to find evidence of Krause's crimes, trailed by a legal clerk named Josh Mantle who specializes in lost causes. They find a country still living through its own version of the cold war, a place where victims of Stasi brutality are afraid to rake over the ashes of the past. In scene after harrowing scene, Barnes and Mantle encounter the walking dead, people whose lives have not been improved by being part of a new Germany.
With Dead Ground, Gerald Seymour has found an innovative way to resurface the resentments and atrocities of the cold war. --Dick AdlerAbout the Author:
Gerald Seymour spent fifteen years as an international television news reporter, covering the Vietnam War, Ireland, the Munich Olympics massacre, Germany's Red Army, Italy's Red Brigades, and Palestinian groups. He is the author of seventeen novels, including the bestseller Harry's Game. He lives in Bath, England.
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