Knopf 2022


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Other Books by Dan Fesperman

Winter Work

Author: Dan Fesperman
Emil Grimm, a Stasi colonel, has decamped to his dacha in the woods outside of Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. On a walk one morning, he discovers the body of a fellow intelligence officer with whom he was involved in a clandestine mission. Now Emil is forced to pick up the pieces of their plan and follow through alone while under the newfound scrutiny of his colleagues. Soon Emil is connected with CIA agent Claire Saylor who is on the ground in Berlin to collect what she can of the valuable intelligence that has been freed up because of the chaotic government transition to unify Germany. As they delve deeper into the world of the murdered officer, it becomes clear that there are secrets deeper than either of them can imagine, and that while the rules of the game have begun to change, the stakes of the Cold War are still high.
Winter Work

The New York Times:

Fesperman accurately depicts the corrosive effect of life under a surveillance society, debasing both the watchers and the watched… Most Cold War spy novels focus on the Manichaean ideological struggle between East and West; this one successfully explores a grayer era.

Publishers Weekly (starred review):

Fesperman nicely works historical figures such as Markus Wolf, “the Stasi’s most renowned spymaster,” into the complex plot while painting an evocative portrait of East Berlin, “spying’s most storied theme park.” A surprisingly moving bond develops between Saylor and Grimm, who fears prosecution or worse after reunification, as the action builds to a deeply satisfying denouement. Cold War–era spy fiction doesn’t get much better than this.

Kirkus (starred review):

Emil's secret meetings with Wolf have the color and bounce of a much finer wine than the one they’re drinking. An engrossing, deep-in-the-weeds thriller.

Booklist (starred review):

Fesperman builds his story around the inner lives of his characters, an approach that transforms typical espionage tropes into universal human drama.

BookPage (starred review):

The heavy toll of authoritarianism looms over the entire proceeding, making for a complex tale that will have readers rooting for a Stasi agent.

The Wall Street Journal

“Winter Work” is Mr. Fesperman’s 13th novel of spycraft and international intrigue. Like its predecessors, it does not disappoint.

Washington Post:

Desperation, treachery and suspense abound in a story based on actual events.

Mark Greaney:

Dan Fesperman is one of my favorite thriller writers, and Winter's Work is a brilliant addition to his magnificent oeuvre. Intelligently written and plotted, based in fact as gripping as any fiction and only improved by Fesperman's deft writing, Winters Work left me spellbound and hungry for another pass at his older books to relieve these intense adventures.

Joseph Kanon:

WINTER WORK vividly captures those chaotic first months after the Berlin Wall came down, with East Germany in free fall and once feared Stasi officers running for cover - into the hands of their former enemies. An entertaining thriller about a society turned upside down.

Olen Steinhauer:

WINTER WORK is just fantastic. With a meticulous eye for detail and a true feel for the unsettled tension of the times, Fesperman pulls the reader deep into the chilly world of an empire crashing with an utterly compelling story. Out-of-work Stasi officer Emil Grimm is one of the best characters I've read in years.

Steve Berry:

Thanks to real texture and substance, based on an actual-famed CIA operation, this tale is both remarkable and unconventional. It's a prize to be savored. Enjoy.

Oprah Daily:

This masterful historical thriller blends espionage, domestic drama, and murder.

Minneapolis Star Tribune:

"Winter Work" is a gripping, tightly plotted old-school spy novel.

Christian Science Monitor:

It’s a well-crafted examination of truth, honor, and loyalty in a shifting world.

Wilmington Star-News:

Besides writing a taut thriller, he recreates the atmospherics of the divided city, from the dark beer halls to the grungy artists' colonies. Readers get a bracing travelogue, and a change in temperature, for the cost of a single volume.