The Berlin Tunnel instantly appealed to me because of the historical aspect of the book. It covers a time in the history of the world where people thought walls were the best way to keep people in their place, an ongoing struggle the world is dealing with even today.
We meet Robert, who is asked to head a project of building a tunnel to break into the communications tunnel that already exists. The project needs to be top secret as it’s the second tunnel the US is planning to build, except this time, they are keeping the project secret from their allies, as they cannot risk the KGB nor the Stasi finding out.
Robert’s cover is that he is a weatherman, and when he falls for an East German girl, Anna, it puts him on the Stasi’s radar, so managing the project and actually getting the tunnel built now has more complications, because the need to be secretive, to cover each of their actions is even greater. Military men were not supposed to have relationships with the Germans, as they can use the Germans against them, they can turn them covert without them knowing. But Robert has his mind settled, and he is determined to make Anna his wife.
As they traverse their relationship, with her knowing there is more to his job than a weatherman, they find themselves on shaky ground. Everything they are doing is being carefully watched. Anna is going to wind up in a precarious position and she is fearful of not knowing what it is Robert is actually doing. This is where the author starts telling the book in alternating viewpoints, it’s a great way to get both sides to situations.
From the complications of their relationship to the problems that arise in building the tunnel, and a CIA superior that Robert must answer to, The Berlin Tunnel is non-stop action. The characters are rich and in-depth, the situations they are in are real and palpable, leaving the reader desperate to find out how each problem that arises will be solved. Historical Fiction is my most favorite genre and I think aside from some editing to fix spelling mistakes, Liles hit a home run with The Berlin Tunnel. An excellent read.