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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different slant on a historical event...
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...
Published on March 4, 2006 by Thomas Duff

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars -- A Good Debut But Doesn't Stand Out From The Pack!
The Berlin Conspiracy is Tom Gabbay's debut Cold War thriller that takes place in Berlin in 1963 just prior to, during and shortly after JFK's historic visit at the Berlin Wall.

The Berlin Conspiracy's plot focuses on Jack Teller, an ex-CIA operative hoping to live a quiet life on a remote beach in south Florida. His peaceful life is interrupted when he is...
Published on January 26, 2011 by Bobbewig


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid debut, January 15, 2007
By 
JoeV "Reader" (Arlington Hts, IL) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
After reading a number of "highly recommended" debuts recently and coming away shaking my head and disappointed, it was a pleasure to read this book - as it lives up to its billing. The book chronicles an aging, cagey, retired CIA agent called back to duty with a summons from a possible East German defector who will only speak/deal with him. The story takes place in 1963 Berlin with the Cold War at full tilt - and President Kennedy's visit in the background. This is ground that has been covered before and there is none of the subtlety or nuances of LeCarre or McCarry but the book never aspires to that. This is a straight forward thriller with a likeable protagonist and enough historical what-ifs to be engaging and entertaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Spy Novel, May 16, 2007
By 
Gary Turner (Powder Springs, Georgia USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Mass Market Paperback)
The year is 1963. Jack Teller is a disillusioned former C.I.A. agent who is called back in the game by an unknown informant who has key information regarding a plot to assassinate President Kennedy during his visit to Berlin. He will only speak to Jack. When Jack re-enters the spy world, he finds that it is sometimes hard to decipher the good guys from the bad.

After a slow start, this novel evolves into an interesting tale of espionage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent Cold War thriller, September 18, 2006
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Jack Teller is a retired spook, having severed his relationship with the CIA soon after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. But two years later Jack is pulled back into service by his old handler: a Colonel in the East German Stasi is willing to hand over important information, but he insists on meeting only with Teller. Jack soon finds himself in a divided Berlin, where in a matter of days President Kennedy is due to deliver his Ich bin ein Berliner speech. In the meantime Jack has to unravel a complex plot--in which the deceptions are thick and it's nearly impossible to tell the good guys from the bad--with nothing less than the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Tom Gabbay's debut novel is a decent read. The plot is complex, though not edge-of-your-seat gripping. It's a quick read, the chapters divided into easily digested chunks, the writing an unexceptional, straightforward prose that's suited to the genre. The story is narrated by Jack Teller some number of years after the events described. Jack was 49 in 1963, so he'd be in his early 90's if we assume that his present is 2006. But whatever the specifics, Jack describes himself as "old" at the time of narration, and his age is problematic: the narrator's voice does not belong to an old man. Teller comes across instead as someone who is in the prime of life at the time he's telling the story. My other problem with the book also involves Teller: he is not a particularly sympathetic character. Certainly Jack acts heroically in the course of the story, yet Gabbay does not manage to make him emotionally engaging, so the perils Jack faces don't affect the reader viscerally. The book starts, too, with Jack doing something reprehensible, a dramatic decision on the author's part which I think may have been a mistake: it prejudices the reader against Gabbay's protagonist from the get-go, making it even harder to care too deeply about him. The author has a winner, though, in the character of Horst Schneider, the charming young German whom Jack befriends over a night of drinking, and who, happily, pops up repeatedly in the story to spice up the dialogue.

Not a bad book, then. Good for a light, quick read. I can imagine it being turned into a decent action movie--and given the author's professional history, a move to the screen is perhaps not unlikely: Gabbay was director of comedy programming for NBC in the eighties and nineties, and he has written a number of screenplays for television and film.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner, January 19, 2006
Not only does the plot compel the reader forward, but Jack Teller is an engaging if reluctant hero. In addition, the book evokes a strong sense of time and place. There is no doubt that it's a must-read for those who enjoy this genre, but the book will also capture the attention of anyone interested in this pivotal moment in history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spy Thriller is Alive and Well!, March 9, 2008
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a great read! "The Berlin Conspiracy" is a classic espionage thriller that brings to mind McCarry, DeMille and Forsyth--and I can't give higher praise than that to a novel in this genre. Gabbay does a great job of transporting us back to the Kennedy era, when an unfettered CIA, the Berlin Wall, the Bay of Pigs and all the rest made for the golden age of American espionage. There is a humorous, irreverent protagonist reminiscent of DeMille's leading men, McCarry-esque intrigue and a "Day of the Jackal" style nail-biter ending. A suspenseful, smoothly written and unputdownable debut effort from Mr. Gabbay--I look forward to reading more novels by this welcome new talent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Clancy Fans, May 6, 2007
By 
C. SIRKUS "book lover" (Herndon, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Move over Tom Clancy. Tom Gabbay is here. His first novel, The Berlin Conspiracy, is interesting, plausible, historical, with just enough romance and intrique built in to keep you turning pages. If you like this genre, you'll love this book. Gabbay is a force to reckoned with.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated first novel, February 9, 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having spent some time in the locations covered including Berlin, I felt even more pulled into the gripping story. It was thought provoking, sophisticaated and very well written. I look forward to reading more from Mr Gabbay.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars makes you reconsider the conspiracy angle, August 1, 2014
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fast read on vacation making me late for some planned outings because I didn't want to put it down. the main character is no James Bond but it makes it a more believable story
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great spy story!, July 17, 2007
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This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Mass Market Paperback)
What a great read! A good "old-fashioned" spy story, set against the backdrop of cold-war Berlin, "The Berlin Conspiracy" features lots of action, intrigue, spying and counter-spying, and a believable and interesting main character.

It is a very well written thriller, with a tight and fast moving storyline that is above your run-of-the-mill, conventional thriller. I enjoyed it thoroughly - my only complaint being this somewhat silly scene of a chain-reaction explosion in a garage, which had no bearing whatsoever on the story. That scene felt like a feeble attempt at comedy; or maybe Gabbay was trying to make his book more appealing to a movie director who believes that in every spy story there have to be a few cars being blown up ...

If you like spy stories in the vein of Len Deighton or (the early work of) John le Carre, then this definitely is a book for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I lived in Berlin, May 31, 2014
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So reading this book took me back to a ten year period of time I enjoyed. Also, my father was an operative in the Agency.
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The Berlin Conspiracy
The Berlin Conspiracy by Tom Gabbay (Mass Market Paperback - December 26, 2006)
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