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Head of Zeus
Winter Work
Winter Work by Dan Fesperman

An exhilarating spy thriller inspired by a true story about the precious secrets being kept hidden just after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

BERLIN, 1990. On a chilly early morning walk, Emil Grimm finds the body of his neighbour, fellow Stasi officer Lothar, lying dead with a bullet wound to the temple. Despite the appearance of suicide, Emil suspects murder, for as East Germany disintegrates, being a Stasi colonel is more of a liability than an asset. Emil and Lothar were involved in a final clandestine mission – now Emil must finish the job alone, on uncertain ground where alliances seem to be shifting by the day.

Meanwhile, CIA agent Claire Saylor, sent to Berlin to assist an Agency action against their collapsing East German adversaries, has just received an upgrade to her assignment: she'll be the designated contact for a high-ranking Stasi foreign intelligence officer. When her first rendezvous goes dangerously awry, she realizes the mission is far more delicate than she was led to believe. Emil and Claire soon find themselves on unlikely common ground, fighting for their lives against a powerful enemy hiding in the shadows.

Reviewers on Winter Work:

'An entertaining thriller about a society turned upside down.' Joseph Kanon
'Fesperman belongs in the front rank of American spy novelists.' Charles Cumming
'Into this lethal turmoil, Fesperman injects an acute sense of place, and a mastery of the many consequences of failure.' Graham Hurley
'An engrossing, deep-in-the-weeds thriller.' Kirkus
'Winter Work is just fantastic.' Olen Steinhauer
'Superb spy thriller.' Publishers Weekly
'Fesperman’s smooth, easy style belies its complexity, and makes for an engaging read.' Crime Time

Head of Zeus -- an Aries Book * Thrillers
12 Jul 2022 * 352pp * £5.99 * 9781804540541
'Winter Work vividly captures those chaotic first months after the Berlin Wall came down, with East Germany in free fall and once feared Stasi officers running for cover – into the hands of their former enemies. An entertaining thriller about a society turned upside down'
Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author of Istanbul Passage and The Good German
'So fluent, so clever. Fesperman brilliantly recreates the atmosphere of post-Communist Europe. Winter Work confirms that he belongs alongside Joseph Kanon and David Ignatius in the front rank of American spy novelists'
Charles Cumming
'An engrossing, deep-in-the-weeds thriller'
'Dan Fesperman has been a fave author of mine since Lie in the Dark: brilliant in conception, and faultlessly delivered. Many books later, he's delivered the same formula in Winter Work. The Cold War is abruptly over. The rules have changed but the war's survivors are struggling to adapt. Into this lethal turmoil, Fesperman injects an acute sense of place, and a mastery of the many consequences of failure. A nastier, more brutal Russia casts a long shadow, with an unmistakeably contemporary resonance. Read, enjoy, and ponder'
Graham Hurley
'Dan Fesperman is one of my favorite thriller writers, and Winter Work is a brilliant addition to his magnificent oeuvre. Intelligently written and plotted, based on fact as gripping as any fiction and only improved by Fesperman's deft writing, Winter Work left me spellbound and hungry for another pass at his older books to relive these intense adventures'
Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author
'Fesperman nicely works historical figures such as Markus Wolf, "the Stasi's most renowned spymaster", into the complex plot while painting an evocative portrait of East Berlin, "spying's most storied theme park." The action builds to a deeply satisfying denouement. Cold War-era spy fiction doesn't get much better than this'
Publishers Weekly
'[In] a recent clutch of novels set in this period. Winter Work [...] is unquestionably the pick of the bunch'
The Times
'An intelligent, atmospheric spy story perfectly conjuring up the final bad old days of the Cold War'
Shots Mag
'A fascinating tale which opens a window on one aspect of history that few other spy writers have looked at in depth'
Crime Time Review
'Classic spy fiction'
'Fesperman creates an atmosphere of shadowy menace'
Financial Times
Dan Fesperman
Dan Fesperman
Dan Fesperman, a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, is an award-winning author whose thrillers have won the John Creasey and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers as well as the Hammett Prize. His plots are inspired by his own international assignments in Germany, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and their two children. Follow Dan at
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