James Stejskal
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
Berlin, 1979. When the CIA’s most valuable spy is compromised, the Agency realizes it does not have the capability to bring him to safety. If he cannot evade the dreaded East German security service, the result will be chaos and a cascade of failures throughout the Agency’s worldwide operations. Master Sergeant Kim Becker lived through the hell of Vietnam as a member of the elite MACV Studies and Operations Group. When he lost one of his best men in a pointless operation, he began to question his mission. Now, he is serving with an even more secretive Army Special Forces unit based in Berlin on the front line of the Cold War. The CIA turns to Becker’s team of unconventional warfare specialists to pull their bacon out of the fire. Becker and his men must devise a plan to get him out by whatever means possible. It's a race against time to prepare and execute the plan while, alone in East Berlin, the agent must avoid his nemesis and play for time inside the hostile secret service headquarters he has betrayed. One question remains ― is the man worth the risk? “More than a good story, this tale is action packed yet firmly grounded in the real history of the Cold War. A Question of Time will grab you, immerse you in the times, and leave you ready for more.” ―Lieutenant General Charlie Cleveland, Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Command.

Harry Palmer meets Kim Becker of the SOG cutting out James Bond. What a smashing story I read it in black and white in the rain soaked cobbles of Berlin. What I mean of course is that this story of Spy v Spy ( any mad readers here ? ) is full of the atmospherics of the cold war in 1979. Its subtext is that, although a work of fiction, you may read into it the history of the operations of the SOG. Some names are real those in the DDR anyway.

This rescue mission story is slick, neat and without fancy gadgets like flame thrower pens or flying cars, so much so that it becomes believable. No super human heroics although the action scenes are bloody and believable. I baggsy the newt review copies please as this was a very entertaining book. The next story is in full colour in Tehran, watch out Jack Reacher, you have competition. Four and half mushroom heads I loved it.

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