Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of SAFE HOUSES by Dan Fesperman.
I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Abby Endler, Knopf and of course Dan Fesperman who gifted me an early copy of SAFE HOUSES. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.
To kick off, we have the “blurb” for 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 sight lines 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.
So, want to know what I thought?;
Just when I have been thinking about branching out into more spy thrillers; SAFE HOUSES comes along and blows my socks off!
For some reason, the first image I conjured when reading about Helen is Peggy Carter from the MCU! A female operative, who works in a largely male dominated organisation and is trying to prove herself when she finds herself caught up in something much larger. In SAFE HOUSES for me, I found it refreshing to read such a strong female character in Helen, much as I enjoyed the experience of Peggy. Interestingly written by a male author, Dan’s story of Helen kept me engaged with her throughout the story and I was eager to learn more as the plot developed.
At the start of this story, the dual timelines threw me off. How does events in 2014 America link with 1979 Berlin? It’s only as the story progresses, that we understand the links. The twists, turns and unreliable characters made for an enjoyable read and I was left with that dreaded sense of book hangover once I’d finished!
I never like to spoil the end of the books I read, but I can tell you that what Dan has now managed to achieve is an appetite for more spy thrillers! If they are written as well as SAFE HOUSES, then I’m in for a hell of a ride!
About Dan Fesperman;
Dan Fesperman’s travels as a writer have taken him to thirty countries and three war zones. Lie in the Dark won the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain’s John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel, The Small Boat of Great Sorrows won their Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller, and The Prisoner of Guantánamowon the Dashiell Hammett Award from the International Association of Crime Writers. He lives in Baltimore.
You can buy SAFE HOUSES from the following booksellers;
Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!