Forge Books, Hardcover, 9780765310132, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 28, 2005
In the turbulent years after the rise of the Berlin Wall, Germany stood dangerously divided between freedom and Communism. Dodging border patrols and guard posts, a silent few were able to cross the borders of the Iron Curtain to deliver needed supplies, always at the risk of their own lives.
This is the past Faith Whitney knew. The daughter of an active smuggler of religious paraphernalia, Faith was raised on the danger that such a life brought with it, a danger that can rip lives apart, even that of a mother and daughter. Now grown and living in 1989 Germany, Faith continues to smuggle goods across the border, narrowly slipping by the East German Stasi each time.
But her activities haven't gone unnoticed. The Stasi have recruited her to deliver a package to Moscow, a package that must be delivered within forty-eight hours . . . or Faith will be eliminated. Her payment: the long-desired location of her missing father.
The danger mounts as Faith is secretly contacted by the beautiful and seductive Colonel Bogdanov of the KGB, who also wants the package at any cost. Barely surviving harsh interrogations, and unsure of whom to trust, Faith turns to her ex-fiancée, Naval Officer Max Summer, the only man with the know-how to get her and her delivery to Moscow in one piece. On the run, the more they discover about the package, the more they realize that delivering it will likely cost them their lives. Little do they both know that the package is part of a larger plan, one that could affect the result of the Cold War in ways no one ever imagined.
Raelynn J. Hillhouse has constructed an engrossing novel of espionage, action, and heart-pounding danger. Told with knowledge and authenticity, Rift Zone takes you inside the workings of communist East Germany and the Soviet Union.
Raelynn Hillhouse lived for over six years in Central and Eastern Europe and is fluent in several languages. She earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan. A former professor and Fulbright fellow, Raelynn has lectured at such institutions as Harvard, the Smithsonian, and the Soviet Academy of Sciences. She lives on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.
“This is as good as anything written by John LeCarré. A must-read. Raelynn Hillhouse is an extraordinary new writer, who has almost single-handedly revived the Cold War thriller.”---Nelson DeMille
“RIFT ZONE crackles with tension and moves at a whiplash pace. What’s most impressive is its sense of absolute authority as it reveals the high-stakes suspense of Cold War espionage.”---Tess Gerritsen
“Reading RIFT ZONE, you’ll be intrigued and spellbound. You can’t help but follow the thread through a labyrinth of mystery to an absorbing conclusion.”---Clive Cussler
“A fascinating story . . . Intriguing . . . This story could only have been told by somebody who has been there and experienced much. It is a book to be read and savoured for its rare insight.”---Anne Perry
“A marvelous, gritty thriller . . . We’re going to be hearing a lot more from Raelynn Hillhouse.”---Stephen Coonts
“Impeccable, detailed research, the backstage of the Cold War comes vividly to life in this complex story.”---Sara Peretsky
“Raelynn Hillhouse guides you into the murky, fascinating underbelly of Cold War Berlin with cloth of velvet prose and saber-sharp violence. Part politics, part romance, all adventure, this compelling suspense thriller will linger in your mind for a long time.”---Gayle Lynds
"RIFT ZONE is a fantastic time-machine trip back to the Cold War. This is AS GOOD AS ANYTHING WRITTEN BY JOHN LE CARRE. . . . This is a must-read. Raelynn Hillhouse is an extraordinary new writer."
"Reading RIFT ZONE, you'll be intrigued and spellbound. . . . You can't help following the thread through a labyrinth of mystery to an absorbing conclusion."
"RIFT ZONE crackles with tension and moves at a whiplash pace. What's most impressive is its sense of absolute authority as it reveals the high stakes suspense of Cold War espionage."
"A fascinating story . . . intriguing, could only have been written by somebody who has been there and experienced much. . . . A book to be read and savored for its rare insight."
"A marvelous, gritty thriller. We are going to be hearing a lot more from Raelynn Hillhouse."
"Impeccable, detailed research . . . the backstage of the Cold War comes vividly to life in this complex story."
"Part politics, part romance, all adventure, this compelling suspense thriller will linger in your mind for a long time."
"Not since John le Carre's George Smiley has a character come along who's as likable as Faith Whitney . . . RIFT ZONE is unputdownable."
"Faith Whitney is a female Indiana Jones. RIFT ZONE is a fast-paced, suspense-packed race against time."