Book Review - Voices Under Berlin: The Tale of a Monterey Mary

By T.H.E. Hill

From the Publisher:
A spy fiction about the Americans who ran the pre-wall Berlin Spy Tunnel that the CIA used to tap Russian telecommunications cables, and about the Russians whom they were intercepting.  The novel is ostensibly set against the backdrop of the Berlin Spy Tunnel (Operation GOLD, covername: PBJOINTLY). The yarn is told from both ends of the tunnel. One end is the story of the Americans who worked the tunnel, and how they fought for a sense of purpose against boredom and the enemy both within and without. This side of the story is told with a pace and a black humor reminiscent of that used by Joseph Heller (Catch-22) and Richard Hooker (M*A*S*H*). The other end of the tunnel is the story of the Russians whose telephone calls the Americans are intercepting. Their end of the tale is told in the unnarrated transcripts of their calls. They are the voices under Berlin.  Voices Under Berlin is the proud winner of 5 Book Awards:  PODBRAM Best Historical Concept, “Puss Reboots” book blog Top 10 Books for 2009, Hollywood Book Festival,Branson Stars & Flags Book Award and Military Writers’ Society Book of the Month.

The Review by Heather's Hubby:
Voices Under Berlin was a fascinating view into post-WW II Berlin.  The story follows the lives of a group of soldiers whose duty it was to manage a series of wire taps.  The story primarily focuses on a character  named Kevin who is a genius at listening to Russian coded conversations and figuring out their true meaning.   As the story progresses Kevin falls in love with a German lady named Gabby who may or may not be a Russian spy code-named Primrose.   In addition, Kevin also has to contend with the bumbling Lieutenant Sherlock (nicknamed Sheerluck) who is out to get him He also has a group of friends and colleagues who make life interesting for the unit in Berlin by engaging in a series of pranks.   If you liked the M.A.S.H. television series, you will probably like this book as the styles are similar.   The novel is designed in a near-episodic fashion whereby each chapter tells a short story but with a few themes running throughout to the end story to tie it all together.   The writing is good, the story progresses at a quick pace and the attempts at humor are actually funny for the most part.  Overall, this novel is a nice way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.

To read more about the history of the book and about the author, please check out T.H.E. Hill's Friendly Wednesday Guest Post where he talks about the real facts of the end of Operation Gold and PBJOINTLY and his inspiration for the book.

We received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book Promotions.  Receiving a complimentary copy in no way influenced the reviewer's opinion and all opinions expressed are his own.