The Arms Maker of Berlin
By Dan Fesperman
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307388728, 384pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
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An unflinching thriller from Dan Fesperman that takes us deep into the White Rose resistance movement during World War II.
When Nat Turnbull’s mentor, Gordon Wolfe, is arrested for possession of a missing WWII secret service archive and then turns up dead in jail, Nat’s quiet academic life is suddenly thrown into tumult. The archive is a time bomb of sensitive material, but key documents are still missing, and the FBI dispatches Nat to track them down. Following a trail of cryptic clues, Nat's journeys to Germany, where he soon crosses paths with Berta, a gorgeous and mysterious student and Kurt Bauer, an arms billionaire with a dark past. As their tales intersect, long-buried exploits of deceit emerge, and each step becomes more dangerous than the last.
Dan Fesperman’s travels as a writer have taken him to thirty countries and three war zones. Lie in the Dark won the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain’s John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel, The Small Boat of Great Sorrows won their Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller, and The Prisoner of Guantánamo won the Dashiell Hammett Award from the International Association of Crime Writers. He lives in Baltimore.
“Compelling . . . nonstop action.”—The Baltimore Sun
"'Intelligent thriller' is almost an oxymoron . . . Which may be why novels like Dan Fesperman's are so rare . . . Fesperman just can't help drawing on his experience as a journalist covering foreign conflicts. And that experience puts the meat on the intricate bone structure of his thriller plots. You come away from a Fesperman novel not only abuzz with the exhilaration of the chase, but also aware that you've absorbed something of the complexity of the world's conflicts . . . Fesperman's characters in The Arms Maker of Berlin, particularly Bauer, are smartly imagined and subtly drawn."—San Francisco Chronicle
"A smoothly accelerating thriller . . . Fesperman is a skillful, unpretentious writer who deftly incorporates his extensive knowledge of the period." —Boston Globe
"Well-crafted entertainment that also delivers complex truths about warfare and survival." —Kirkus Reviews
"Fesperman convincingly evokes the fraying Reich in 1944 . . . Readers who like a bit of history with their thrills will be thoroughly satisfied." —Publishers Weekly
"Fesperman writes well. His characters are believable, and the strong and credible plot will specially appeal to fans of World War II espionage fiction." —Library Journal
"This one is definitely not your out-of-the-box spy caper, thus highly recommended . . . In the jaded world of the post-modern spy novel, there are no good guys or bad guys, no black or white—just a thousand shades of gray. This combination of anomie and espionage can get tiresome after awhile, but in Fesperman's newest novel, he spices things up."—Booklist (starred)