As valid and valuable today as when it was written,
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This review is from: Double Crossing (Paperback)
Published in 1983, DOUBLE CROSSING is no more dated than CASABLANCA or ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. On the contrary, set largely in totalitarian East Germany, it dramatizes the prison-like life there and the promise of constitutionally protected freedom on the other side of the Berlin wall better than anything I've read. Not just facts and statistics but longings and wishes and fears take us to this other time and place. I doubt that the author literally visited every locale or saw those real or imagined events - but her outstanding research makes it seem that way.
The plot - revolving around brothers in conflict but including their friends, enemies and associates - is loaded with surprises as we try to guess what each character will do in crucial situations, as we gradually learn who they are and what they know about each other. The secrets and lies are never far away, but amazingly, I never found the narrative confusing. I literally got chills when the Russian doctor confronts a shocking revelation -- and the reader realizes that things which couldn't get more complicated, just did. The story plays out logically, leading to an appropriately violent conclusion, as each character learns the truth on a need-to-know basis, and the reader along with them.
It's a fine and informative novel, one that deserves a read or re-read through the filter of present-day realities.