Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pavel and I by Dan Vyleta

Berlin was a grim place to live in 1946. A bitterly cold winter made the post-war shortages of food, shelter, clothing and coal nearly unendurable. Despite these conditions, Pavel Richter, a demobilized American soldier, has inexplicably chosen to remain in Berlin. The Cold War had already begun and Pavel finds himself caught between British and Russian spies as they struggle for power and information. When Pavel agrees to help a fellow American hide the body of a Russian spy, he puts his own life at risk as well as those of his two German friends: Anders, an orphan living with other street urchins, and Sonia, a woman who has turned to prostitution in order to survive. Particularly dangerous to them is the sadistic Colonel Fosko, a British officer who has gone rogue and will stop at nothing to obtain what the Russian spy may have had when he died. As the tension and violence mount, and Pavel becomes trapped in the Colonel’s ever-tightening ring of intrigue, the mysterious “I” of Pavel and I eventually reveals his identity and motive. But Pavel remains a cypher to the end.