The Matchmaker by Paul Vidich [7/10]

Set in Berlin just as the Wall was coming down in 1989, “The Matchmaker: A Spy in Berlin” has a classic plotline made for those in the John le CarrĂ© tradition, a plotline tightly unwound in a gripping manner. When the piano tuner husband of an American translator vanishes, she discovers he was an East German agent runner. What’s more, by dint of good luck, she ends up being the key to tracking down his handler, a super spy, and what began as a tragedy quickly morphs into a claustrophobic cat-and-mouse thriller. Paul Vidich is a stylist with skills a cut above the regular modern spy thriller aspirant, and the plot, characterization, and end-of-Cold-War atmospherics are superb. The Matchmaker is the author’s fifth spy thriller outing and I’ll be reaching into his back catalogue, so impressed was I by this intelligent yet gripping novel.

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