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.
In [Safe Houses], author Dan Fesperman superbly melds a character-strong espionage thriller with a suspenseful mystery that also aligns with the #MeToo movement. As a spy thriller, [Safe Houses] eschews high-tech gadgets to concentrate on the emotional and physical peril of undercover work. As a mystery, it quickly becomes a family drama ... Fesperman supplies plenty of tense scenes, especially during Helen’s younger years, but his affinity for character studies is the novel’s driving force ... Fesperman never allows his characterization to go over the top ... [Safe Houses] is a superior thriller — both on the international and domestic front.
Dan Fesperman is no stranger to thrill and intrigue... [Safe Houses] showcases a lean, muscular prose that is able to deliver plot points as cleanly and quickly as a switchblade’s twist ... The strength of [Safe Houses] relies on the author’s deft handling of spy-jinx. The story isn’t bogged down with tradecraft or explanations of how things work. But that’s not to say that one is left wanting more, either. Fesperman uses just enough to progress the plot and keep us wondering what he’s going to do to our two heroines next ... The novel’s strength also lies in its historical and cultural context... [there's] enough description and realism to enthrall me with the historically fascinating past while avoiding the bogging of encyclopedic descriptions ... I’m definitely a new fan; read [Safe Houses] and you will be too (if you aren’t already).