“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Past Is Another Kind Of Country

The title might lead you to believe – as it did me – that Kevin Brophy’s THE BERLIN CROSSING (2012) is a spy novel, but while the story did employ some of the tropes of that genre, it was clear on reading it that Kevin Brophy had other ambitions too.
  That also appears to be the case with Brophy’s latest offering, ANOTHER KIND OF COUNTRY (Headline Review). To wit:
Santiago, 1973: Rosa is a happy girl, living a privileged life amongst the ruling elite. But when violence erupts with the Pinochet coup, her socialist parents are the first to be taken. Forced to flee across the Andes, she finds herself rescued by a Stasi spy, and escapes behind the Iron Curtain to Germany.

East Berlin, 1989: Englishman Patrick Miller has crossed over and is working at the Secretariat for Socialist Correctness in Publishing. Dragged into a dangerous, cynical world of shady dealings on both sides of the Wall, Patrick doesn’t know what he believes in anymore. Until he meets Rosa ...

Separate currents of the twentieth century have washed Patrick and Rosa up in a divided city that despite everything they’ve both come to love. As the Soviet Union starts to break up around them, the tide of change is too strong for even the much feared Stasi to hold back. But once the barriers are down and the rubble cleared, what kind of country will they be left with?
  For a review of THE BERLIN CROSSING, clickety-click here.
  For a review of ANOTHER KIND OF COUNTRY, clickety-click here.

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