The Memory Church

Tim Sebastian, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (286p) ISBN 978-0-688-11447-3
Writing at the borders of the genre, former BBC correspondent Sebastian (whose Saviour's Gate was a prescient view of the collapse of the U.S.S.R.) pens his powerful new espionage thriller in elliptical, impressionistic prose that recalls The Third Man. Just before the destruction of the Wall in a vividly depicted, dreary East Berlin, James Martin, British Intelligence mole in the East German Stasi (secret police), witnesses a KGB raid on Stasi headquarters; troops carry away the agency's secret files. As Martin rushes to get away to the safety of England, a Stasi agent offers to name a mole in the SIS, but the man is murdered before identifying the traitor. Martin narrowly evades various plots against his life as he tries to track down the mole and, at the same time, reunite with his ex-lover Cassie McNeil, a beautiful CIA agent. The story is characterized by movement: locations range from Berlin to London to Washington to Russia; the time period begins with the destruction of the Berlin Wall, moves back 20 years, then forward again to the present; and the characters move emotionally through various degrees of loyalty and trust. Despite all the motion (and a fairly high body count), much is left unresolved at the conclusion, a bittersweet ending that rings true and that underscores Sebastian's psychological acumen in reflecting human behavior under stress. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71863-4
Paperback - 333 pages - 978-1-56054-737-2
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