Stasi Vice

I have tried to find out who Max Hertzberg is with no success. All I can find is the repeated quote: After the experience of the East German political upheaval in 1989/90 Max Hertzberg became a Stasi files researcher. Clearly, he is fluent in German, but did he live in the east? No idea.

This book has a strong western bent. Many phrases are familiar to us as is most of the jokes. I picked the book expecting an insiders look at how the famous Stasi operated. Instead, it is closer to Get Smart.

The plot started as a simple cover-up but turned into a complex twist that put Second Lieutenant Riem in danger of life and worse, getting caught by the people he worked for. If you want a quick read with laughs but without much depth, this will do.

It’s not a bad first novel, but I would stretch to give it three stars.

Mike Lawrence

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