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BETROTHED TO TREACHERY
     

BETROTHED TO TREACHERY

by Gill Moore
 

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Why would anyone want to kidnap two respected members of the community? Paul and Walter, life-long friends brought up in East Berlin in the 1960s during the Stasi (Secret Police) regime, are devastated when their respective fathers suddenly disappear without trace. Even when the Berlin Wall comes down in 1989, the Stasi tentacles continue to stretch throughout Europe

Overview

Why would anyone want to kidnap two respected members of the community? Paul and Walter, life-long friends brought up in East Berlin in the 1960s during the Stasi (Secret Police) regime, are devastated when their respective fathers suddenly disappear without trace. Even when the Berlin Wall comes down in 1989, the Stasi tentacles continue to stretch throughout Europe and even into England. Revenge and rivalries between officers already involved in the smuggling of millions of dollars-worth of goods out of Russia and East Germany lead to blackmail and murder. In 2009, twenty years after the collapse of Communism, the Stasi prison and record offices are opened to victims and their families. Paul and Walter visit Berlin to search for records of their fathers, and are enraged when they discover the torture suffered by them and the identity of the reporting officer. Worse, this person is blackmailed by a former Stasi officer to become betrothed to Paul’s widowed cousin in Prague, whose young children are threatened with defacement and injury. How can this marriage be prevented? A plot is hatched, ending in murder.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-04
Moore's debut drama, set in the years before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, tells of three German families who fall prey to the Stasi secret police.In 1983, a Stasi agent pressures Rudi Kessler, a butcher barely making ends meet, to supply information on two childhood friends: civil servant Karl and post-office worker Helmut. Both of them are allegedly passing intelligence to the enemy via microdots, and they each subsequently vanish. Rudi's son, Alex, meanwhile, joins the Stasi; Karl's son, Paul, becomes paranoid that other people, including waiters, are listening to his conversations. Years after the 1990 German reunification, Paul learns the identity of the person responsible for reporting his father to the secret police. As it happens, it's the same man who was blackmailed by a former Stasi officer into marrying Paul's cousin, Helga, as part of an intricate plan to recover stolen diamonds. Moore's novel is so rich in history and character detail that it's exciting even without the Stasi subplot, as Alex helps his mother find safety in democratic Denmark; Paul weds Englishwoman Rachel and makes a new life in the UK; and Helga's new family faces tragedy as she loses her husband. Alex is one of the book's more unsavory characters, but also the most captivating; he's generally disliked by people he knows, which is sublimely manifested in his repulsive habit of constantly sniffing. In one highlight, a notoriously violent Stasi thug grabs Alex, who denies his identity—before immediately sniffing and giving the ruse away. Moore incorporates the historical backdrop effectively, particularly the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, which serves as a palpable turning point; characters' lives change swiftly and drastically, particularly those of former Stasi members. The story's final act takes place in 2009, near the event's 20-year anniversary. The novel feels a bit rushed at the end, as Stasi officers scramble to get their mitts on the diamonds. However, the unforgettable climax involves a multitude of characters—and not everyone's left standing by the time it's over.A short, fast-paced historical novel with well-developed characters and settings.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781491887349
Publisher:
AuthorHouse
Publication date:
01/09/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
182
File size:
225 KB

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