Second Volume of the Berlin Tunnel Trilogy
Date Published: September 8, 2020
From Amazon bestsellers list author Roger L. Liles comes the second volume of his Cold War trilogy—THE COLD WAR BEGINS. The setting is war-ravaged Berlin in late 1946. Spies from both sides begin to move with relative ease throughout a Germany occupied by British, French, American and Russian military forces. Kurt Altschuler, our hero, soon becomes one of them.
While working behind enemy lines as an OSS agent in France during World War II, Kurt learns that intelligence collection involves both exhilarating and dangerous encounters with the enemy. He relished every moment he spent as part of the vanguard confronting the Nazis.
That war has been over for 18 months when he is offered a job as a CIA deep-cover agent in the devastated and divided city of Berlin. He jumps at the opportunity, but is concerned that his guise as an Associated Press News Agency reporter will offer little action. He need not worry. Soon, he is working undercover, deep inside of Russian-controlled southeastern Germany. Eventually, KGB agents waylay him and tear his car and luggage apart. His chauffeur is beaten. He is threatened with prison, torture and death.
Enter Erica Hoffmann, a very attractive, aspiring East German archeology student. Any relationship between an undercover CIA agent and an East German woman is strictly forbidden; she might be a KGB or Stasi agent or operative. But he cannot help himself—he has fallen hard for her. Kurt strives assiduously to maintain their tempestuous, star-crossed relationship.
Eventually, Kurt works to counter the efforts of Russian and East German spies, especially a mole who is devastating Western Intelligence assets throughout Europe. He also must work to identify and expose enemy spies who have penetrated the very fabric of the West German government and society. He frequently observes to others that: “the spy business is like knife fighting in a dark closet; you know you’re going to be cut up, you just don’t know how bad.”
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
I am sure that all but the truly gifted few have difficulty writing a clear, succinct sentence or paragraph and especially a whole chapter or book. That is the real work in writing of any form. I write something—then rewrite it trying to get the meaning across in fewer words—then edit it—all in the same day. I don’t look at it for days or weeks. Then repeat the process and finally have the computer read it to me. Only then is it ready to be reviewed by someone else.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I don’t own an iPod and prefer to work in a totally quiet room.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I use both. My critique partners are part of my Scribblers of North San Diego County group. We help each other as much as possible. They will read a few chapters, a whole section, or the entire book depending on what kind of help I need.
Over several novels, I have developed a detailed Beta Readers Checklist. I got most of it from the internet and then modified it as I learned where the original was deficient. I can make it available if anyone is interested. My beta readers are asked to tell me what is wrong and how I can solve problems—the good ones are brutally honest.
What book are you reading now?
I did graduate work in European History before deciding that I needed to earn a living so I went back to school and earned an MS in Engineering from USC. I read almost exclusively histories. I am currently reading Thunderstruck by Eric Larson—he makes history come alive—I have read all of his books. Before that, I read The Billy Ruffian by David Cordingly. It is the history of the Bellerophon and the downfall of Napoleon. That British ship participated in three epic battles that decided that series of wars. After Waterloo, Napoleon surrendered to that ship's captain. My next read will be 1453 by Roger Crowley. It is about the battle for and fall of Constantinople in that year.
About the Author
Roger L. Liles decided he had to earn a living after a BA and graduate studies in Modern European History. He went back to school and eventually earned an MS in Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1970.
In the 1960s, he served as an Air Force Signals Intelligence Officer in Turkey and Germany and eventually lived in Europe for a total of eight years. He worked in the military electronics field for forty years—his main function was to translate engineering jargon into understandable English and communicate it to senior decision-makers in the government.
Now retired after working for forty years as a senior engineering manager and consultant with a number of aerospace companies, he spends his days writing. His first novel, which was published in late 2018 was titled The Berlin Tunnel—A Cold War Thriller. His second novel The Cold War Begins was published in late 2020 and is the second volume in his planned The Cold War Trilogy. This trilogy is based on extensive research into Berlin during the spy-versus-spy era which followed World War II and his personal experience while living and working in Europe. He is in the process of writing its third volume of the trilogy which will be titled The Berlin Tunnel—Another Crisis and takes the story into 1962 and the era of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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