--A Publishers Weekly "Big Book" of Fall 2013 "John Lawton's stylish spy thriller, "Then We Take Berlin," is a splendid introduction to John Wilfrid (Wilderness) Holderness, born a Cockney guttersnipe, trained in various criminal enterprises by his grandfather and transformed into a British intelligence operative during World War II. . . .[An] enthralling story of Wilderness's adventures in espionage and Lawton's harrowing descriptions of life in the battered nations of Europe in 1945, when the war was over but never seemed to end."--"New York Times Book Review" "Lawton's gift for atmosphere, memorable characters and intelligent plotting has been compared to John le Carre, but his dry humor also invokes the late Ross Thomas. . . . Never mind the comparisons--Lawton can stand up on his own, and Then We Take Berlin is a gem."--"The Seattle Times" "A dangerous assignment in East Berlin is fraught with complex memories from postwar Europe. . . . A wonderfully complex and nuanced thriller."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Lawton captures both the immediate postwar and midcentury landscapes perfectly, stirring elements of Graham Greene, John le Carre, and the great Ross Thomas' too-little-known McCorkle and Padillo novels into a superbly well-built Cold War cocktail--bracing, deliriously delicious, but carrying the slightly bitter aftertaste of dreams gone bad."--"Booklist" (starred review) "This intelligent first in a new series from Lawton ("A Lily of the Field" and six other Inspector Troy thrillers) opens on the eve of President Kennedy's 1963 Berlin visit, but the real meat lies in the compelling backstory of John Wilford Holderness, an East London Cockney who joins the RAF in 1946. . . . A wonderfully written and generally wise book that will thrill readers with an interest in WWII and the early Cold War era."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "Anyone familiar with Lawton's Inspector Troy series of mysteries already knows that he is a master of time and place. Every rationed meal, every stolen car, every bit of cat burglar craft is perfect. His Berlin is as gritty as brick dust, populated by wraiths on the make in baggy clothes from years of starvation rations and vitamin deficiencies. Everyone does what they have to in order to survive and morality is a very situational concept indeed. As the years advance, some of the characters become wiser with their experience, some merely older but Berlin survives, rebuilding but unchanging. . . . Absolute dynamite in a trench coat with cigarettes, coffee and nylons stuffed in the pockets. Don't miss this one!"--I Love A Mystery "Lawton builds a wonderfully convincing picture...writing with remarkable authority. . . as usual with Lawton's books, it's rather more than the sum of its parts."--"Spectator" "While Lawton's previous novels were distinguished by their precise and elegant prose, "Then We Take Berlin" offers, courtesy of its Cockney protagonist, a cruder but equally effective vernacular style underpinned by mordant black humour."--"Irish Times" "Lawton's up there with Philip Kerr and Alan Furst. Yes, he's that good."--"The Sun" "Absolute dynamite in a trench coat . . . Don't miss this one!"--I Love A Mystery Newsletter "A thriller that is sure to have any fan of John Le Carre's Smiley novels gripped."--Crime Fiction Lover "["Then We Take Berlin"] is a stand-alone novel outside [Lawton's] wonderful 'Troy' series, set in Berlin in 1963 . . . it is extremely good."--Deadly Pleasures "Anyone familiar with Lawton's Inspector Troy series of mysteries already knows that he is a master of time and place. Every rationed meal, every stolen car, every bit of cat burglar craft is perfect. His Berlin is as gritty as brick dust, populated by wraiths on the make in baggy clothes from years of starvation rations and vitamin deficiencies. . . . Absolute dynamite in a trench coat with cigarettes, coffee and nylons stuffed in the pockets. Don't miss this one!"--W. J. H. Reed, I Love A Mystery "A very captivating read."--Fantasy Book Critic
About the Author
John Lawton is the author of ten novels, including "Second Violin," "Flesh Wounds," and "Bluffing Mr. Churchill." His thriller "Black Out" won a WH Smith Fresh Talent Award, "A Little White Death" was named a "New York Times" notable book, and his latest novel "A Lily of the Field" was named one of the best thrillers of the year by Marilyn Stasio of "The New York Times." He lives in Derbyshire, England.