Today I have a review of Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman, now available in paperback from Vintage Anchor/Doubleday!
Every once in a while, I love picking up a spy thriller, and Safe Houses was a great one and my first by this author.
In West Berlin in the late 1970s, Helen Abell is in charge of the CIA’s safe houses, where field agents live while the Cold War carries on.
One day, she’s inspecting one of the homes and overhears two people speaking in code, and she believes it must be sinister. The same day, something else out of the ordinary happens. Helen wants to bring the truth to light, but doing so puts her in grave danger.
Somehow what Helen has witnessed is connected to a present day young man who murders his parents and the sister who takes up finding out why.
Safe Houses is written in two timelines. The first is Helen’s timeline and the second in the present day. The two narratives then intersect, and I enjoyed both equally. I found the premise of the plot fascinating, and the pacing was strong. The time period in Berlin with the wall still in place was compelling.
Overall, Safe Houses delivered an entertaining spy thriller with an excellent sense of time and place and plenty of intrigue.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
In this gripping new work of suspense from the author of The Double Game, a young woman discovers a nefarious truth at the heart of the CIA’s operations in postwar Berlin and goes on the run for her life; years later she’s gruesomely murdered along with her husband, and her daughter begins to chase down these startling secrets from her past.
West Berlin, 1979. Helen Abell oversees the CIA’s network of safe houses, rare havens for field agents and case officers amidst the dangerous milieu of a city in the grips of the Cold War. Helen’s world is upended when, during her routine inspection of an agency property, she overhears a meeting between two people unfamiliar to her speaking a coded language that hints at shadowy realities far beyond her comprehension. Before the day is out, she witnesses a second unauthorized encounter, one that will place her in the sightlines of the most ruthless and powerful man at the agency. Her attempts to expose the dark truths about what she has witnessed will bring about repercussions that reach across decades and continents into the present day, when, in a farm town in Maryland, a young man is arrested for the double murder of his parents, and his sister takes it upon herself to find out why he did it.
Have you read Safe Houses, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR