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The Berlin Conspiracy Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2006

Book 1 of 3 in the Jack Teller Series

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060787880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060787882
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,177,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wallowing in a post–Bay of Pigs funk, ex-CIA agent Jack Teller is called out of retirement in 1963 and sent to Berlin to meet an East German agent with a message for Jack's ears only in the debut of screenwriter and former TV producer Gabbay. Jack is floored by both his contact's identity and his information about a plot to kill President Kennedy during an upcoming visit to West Berlin. His dormant idealism roused, Jack delves into the conspiracy while dodging the threats of corrupt CIA higherups and falling in with colorful residents of Berlin's Cold War demimonde. Mixing cynical world-weariness with dead-pan humor and a refreshing lack of Bond-style omnicompetence (random mishaps include a nasty dog bite and a disastrous attempt to shoot off a pair of handcuffs), Jack's story is part John le Carré and part Elmore Leonard. Gabbay constructs the thriller as a dress rehearsal and what-if scenario for the actual Dallas assassination. With rogue intelligence operatives, gangsters, Texas tycoons and a mob of snipers, coverup hit men, fall guys, fall guy impersonators, and miscellaneous functionaries all jostling each other, the plot's many moving parts make the climax a virtual parody of ponderous JFK conspiracy theories. But until this odd turn, Gabbay offers a stylish thriller with an appealing hero. (Jan. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–The nuances of the JFK assassination conspiracy theories chillingly collide with the intricacies of Cold War espionage in this well-crafted, fast-paced thriller. CIA agent Jack Teller is a hard-boiled, world-weary pragmatist who would rather be fishing in Florida but warms to the notion that fate has selected him to abort an assassination attempt in Berlin. If allowed to succeed, it could lead in a matter of minutes to all-out nuclear war and the end of the world as we know it. Teller soon finds himself in that never-never land of spies where no one is who he seems to be, and where danger lurks behind, above, below, and within every doorway. As implausible as this may sound, Gabbay does a credible job of juxtaposing his story with historically accurate but equally implausible events, namely the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the assassination in Dallas. The novel could be viewed as simply a good escapist read, but there is an enormously significant lesson at its core: in a world with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, it only takes a well-placed loose cannon or two to set us all on a course of utter destruction. That story has been told before, but it bears repeating. This is a thrilling tale with historical lessons of lasting consequences.–Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I have no doubt that if and when Tom Gabbay writes another novel, it will be on my "to read" list.
Thomas Duff
It is a very well written thriller, with a tight and fast moving storyline that is above your run-of-the-mill, conventional thriller.
Christian Braun
This is a novel that grabs you on the very first page and doesn't put you down until the very last.
Francis Currie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I recently received a review copy of a Cold War espionage thriller... The Berlin Conspiracy by Tom Gabbay. For a first novel, he did an excellent job.

Take yourself back to 1963... Berlin during the Cold War. Jack Teller is a retired CIA agent who decided that life wasn't for him after what happened in Cuba and the Bay of Pigs. His disillusionment has led him to spend his days fishing in southern Florida. But all that changes when his name specifically comes up as the desired contact of an East German agent who has some important information. Nobody, not even Jack, knows why this agent wants him. But he decides to go along for the ride and see what happens. After ditching his handlers to run the contact his own way, he learns that there is a plot to assassinate President Kennedy in Berlin. The unusual twist is that the plot is being run by people in the US government, and it's up to Jack to figure out who is involved and what the motivation might be. He quickly finds out that he's become a loose end that needs to be tied up, and as a result he's being framed to take the fall for the killing. The question becomes not only can Jack stay alive, but can he keep the President from being shot...

The whole "who shot Kennedy" conspiracy obviously comes into play here, and Gabbay does a nice job in approaching that from a different angle. The plot line blends pretty seamlessly into historical fact, and it's not a stretch to imagine this particular scenario playing out. This was a recreational read that I found myself looking forward to at nights when I did some reading before falling asleep. I have no doubt that if and when Tom Gabbay writes another novel, it will be on my "to read" list.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Spencer on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Do you like a great espionage novel? Do you like A great spy

novel?Have you been searching amazon.com for that book you

can't put down? Who is writing the great thrillers theses days?

A new author is in town and if you've come to this site its a

new day for you. His name is Tom Gabbay. and his book is The

Berlin Conspiracy. I am an avid reader of thrillers and have been looking for a new name , that would join the ranks of Robert Ludlum, Jack Higgins,Frederick Forsyth,and Craig Thomas.

Now we have him and his book.

We have Jack Teller a new cold war hero, not a card board character,but a character who brings you into the story and his mind,and gives the reader a real since of the era and Berlin in

1963. If you begin the book it will capture you from page one,

never let go untill the last word in the book.Spy fiction is Berlin. The story quickly becomes a wall of mirrors whoses reflections are not what they seem to be . With the Stasi and the Soviet Union , the President of the United States, and a plot that is as hair raising as a great spy novel should be,

the action comes fast, and the characters are unforgettable.

The Berlin Conspiracy has set a new standard and Tom Gabbay

is the next great spy [espionage] writer of our day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Frank Henderson on January 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Tom Gabbay's fertile mind has created a grabber right out of the gate. I would dare anyone to read the first few pages of this masterfully crafted spy novel and then put it aside. Compared to Le Carre by others, it does indeed have some very intriguing twists and turns, but is written in a much clearer style. And Tom's imagination might have come closer to an actual occurrence than the general public will ever know. I can see this story becoming a movie or TV special sometime in the future
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Zara Light on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Berlin Conspiracy" is a remarkable debut that introduces us to a likeable and genuine hero. The first-person narrative creates a compelling story that the reader gets completely wrapped up in. I couldn't put the book down! A perfect balance between history and story-telling, loaded with plot twists and character development. A truly enjoyable read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By NEIL S. Richman on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This spy novel has shades of LeCarre, but with more twists and turns, and plenty of action. The setting is Berlin in the early 60s and the characters are very believable and not caricatures. The plot was gripping, and I found it hard to put down. I hope this is the first of a series, featuring the main character.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By clifford on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is bound to be considered a classic. I have truly read a couple of thousand mystery/thrillers and have only a handful of books in this genre that I would consider either equal or better than this. Tom Gabbay has brought forth a book that is not `original' in any mainstream sense of the word (Such as `Motherless Brooklyn' by Letham). This is a story that is laid out very traditionally, sort of like Ludlum, only better. That is what is so nice about `Berlin Conspiracy.' This is the book that a lot of the authors I have enjoyed reading over the years would have given a kneecap to have written. From the first chapter to the last page, the prose (though not literary) leaps off of the page and drags you along for a very intelligent spy caper.

I first heard of this book on NPR, where the reviewer said that even though they knew in advance that Kennedy would make it out of Berlin alive (of course). The sheer suspense that builds up over the pages kept the reviewer on the edge of their seat, turning pages, needing to find out its conclusion. That's the way it is. An awesome tour de force. I can't wait for Gabbay's next novel.

Yeow! Get this book if you enjoy mystery/thrillers. Top of the heap reading material.
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More About the Author

Tom Gabbay was born in 1953 in Bloomington, Indiana. After studying painting in London and Philadelphia, he began his career in New York, producing animated films for the well known children's program Sesame Street. In 1985 he joined NBC television in Los Angeles as Director of Children's programs. During his tenure at the network, he also served as a Director of Comedy Programs and Creative Director of NBC Europe. In addition to his novels, (The Berlin Conspiracy, The Lisbon Crossing, and The Tehran Conviction) he has written several screenplays and contributed political cartoons to the Philadelphia Daily News. www.tomgabbay.com