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The Crack Magazine


Our Friends in Berlin

Anthony Quinn, Jonathan Cape

Anthony Quinn is never more at home than when he’s elbow deep in mid-20thcentury, cake-mix Britain, all turned-up trousers, hair oil and plucky, can-do gels. And he’s in his element with ‘Our Friends in Berlin’, his latest novel, which is set in London during the Second World War. The Blitz is in full swing but while posters may proclaim ‘London Can Take It’, behind some blackout blinds, British-born plotters are doing everything they can to aid the Third Reich. These fifth columnists – drawn from all walks of life – will do anything to aid a victory for Hitler. While MI5 try to get a handle on these traitors Amy Strallen is helping set up a marriage bureau in Mayfair; but when she gets a visit from someone who is looking for something more than love, she is thrust into a web of intrigue. This isn’t the psychological trawl through morality that you may find in a John le Carré novel, but it is a rattlingly good yarn, beautifully written, that mixes in a good dollop of romance with the espionage.