cover image The Dividing Line: A Spy Thriller

The Dividing Line: A Spy Thriller

Kjell-Olof Bornemark, Bornemark Kjell-Olof. Dembner Books, $16.95 (231pp) ISBN 978-0-942637-05-2

This little gem of espionage fiction falls squarely into the mode of the best Eric Ambler thrillers, in which lonely and only marginally competent protagonists struggle against ruthless intelligence bureaucracies and killers. If the hero prevails, it's by the thinnest of margins and with a lot of luck. Just before the Nazis marched into Prague in 1939, Verner Neuman narrowly escaped to Sweden. But the price of the ticket was his signature on a false confession that he was a Soviet spy. At the end of the 1940s, the Eastern Bloc intelligence services blackmailed Neumanby then a trusted functionary of the Swedish Social Democrat partyinto real espionage against his adopted country. Now 40 years later, the worm has turned. Neuman has obtained evidence that the Party General Secretary in East Germany had a sexual relationship with one of Hit ler's more notorious lackeys. The blackmailed turns blackmailer in a desperate effort to escape the spymasters and regain his self respect. Swedish author Bornemark's sharp characterization and crisp plotting make this book a pleasure from start to finish. (October)