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Arts and Entertainment Winners

Best Spy Game

The Arms Maker of Berlin by Dan Fesperman

Posted 9/16/2009

What makes the espionage fiction of Sun foreign correspondent Dan Fesperman such a treat is the way he doesn't rely on typical Cold War-era main characters, instead taking very contemporary men--an FBI interpreter in The Prisoner of Guantanamo, a Yugoslavian police investigator in Lie in the Dark, a career aid worker in The Amateur Spy--and putting them into the sort of political and moral gray areas that Cold War-era spy novels cooked up. And he's at it again with his recent page-turner The Arms Maker of Berlin (Knopf), in which history professor Nat Turnbull finds himself at the center of a contemporary ripple from WWII-era espionage, promises, and compromises. The historian as spy/detective is a wonderful conceit, but the real gem here is all the 1945 spy history Turnbull/Fesperman dusts off, enabling the author to show how Cold War-era decisions could still impact our understanding of "history" today.

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