T.H.E. Hill has come up with another spy action thriller that’s a sizzler, an even better story than his highly lauded first novel, Voices Under Berlin.
You know it’s not gonna be the best of days when you awaken on the floor of a cathouse, your head seeping blood, and your pockets empty.
And, oh yeah! You’re on the wrong side of the line that is about to become the Berlin Wall.
This is not your run-of-the-mill East Berlin whorehouse. This one also served our protagonist, “Dieter,” as he is known on that side of the wall, as a dead drop. And today, it truly was a dead drop. As Dieter gets his bearings and balance back, he discovers the body count is one for sure, a second strongly possible, and then him, although his body still has an erratic and racing pulse. But his problems are just beginning. His immediate goal is to insure that pulse keeps beating, preferably on the West Berlin side of the sector border.
From there, it’s a nonstop rush of errors, blind alleys and the everyday onslaught of a never-ending list of things that can go wrong when you’re trying to sneak out of enemy territory. Murphy’s Law in spades, nonstop, but told tongue in cheek, yet with an innate knowledge and confidence that comes only with frequent involvement in clandestine operations.
The point for any writer is "the hook," the opening paragraphs, which quickly tell the story of whether your new book will allow you to eat lunch, not to mention breakfast and dinner, in the foreseeable future. The hook, if properly baited and set, insures you’ll get plenty of fish on the line. The Day Before The Berlin Wall insures you do from page one. Hill’s masterful setting of the hook is an art in itself. Add to that the simple fact that he knows of what he speaks, from personal experience, and there are hooks aplenty, and unavoidable.