Leaving Berlin

leaving berlin cover image Leaving Berlin

by Joseph Kanon
General Fiction
Atria Books
Hardcover, 384 pages

Caught up in the McCarthy witch-hunts, a young Jewish refugee Alex Meier, a socialist, is recruited into the CIA to seek redemption from the impolitic politics he practiced after his arrival in the US from war torn Germany. He is assigned to his native Berlin, a city in ruins and in desperate straits from the Soviet blockade. Things go wrong – kidnappings, killings, betrayal. The spy novel seamlessly morphs into the love story of a couple who find themselves reunited in the shadowy terrain of the American and Soviet sectors of the city. After being years and worlds apart he is now an intelligence agent with the CIA and she is the lover (more or less) of a Soviet official. The New York Times says, “ Kanon deftly captures the ambiance of a city that’s still a wasteland almost four years after the Nazi’s defeat.”