Winner of the Virginia Prize for Fiction, 2013
Nominated for Scottish First Book of the Year Award 2015, Saltire Society
BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime
“Deftly told in short, punchy chapters, the thriller is a page-turner that shifts from East to West and the dark days of the 1980s to present reunification.” The Evening Times
“Rintoul pulls the reader through her story with craft and psychological precision, while trawling a satisfyingly long way into her characters' pasts and futures.” The Scotsman
“Beginning in 1985 and continuing after communism's sharp decline, journalist and translator Rintoul's engrossing tale alternates between Robert's and Magda's perspectives... vividly anchoring the East German experience. A tense, compelling peek behind the Berlin Wall.” Kirkus Review
A tale of love, betrayal and redemption in the dying days of the Cold War. The year is 1985. East Germany is in the grip of communism. Magda, a brilliant but disillusioned young linguist, is desperate to flee to the West. When a black market deal brings her into contact with Robert, a young Scot studying at Leipzig University, she sees a way to realize her escape plans. But as Robert falls in love with her, he stumbles into a complex world of shifting half-truths - one that will undo them both. Many years later, long after the Berlin Wall has been torn down, Robert returns to Leipzig in search of answers. Can he track down the elusive Magda? And will the past give up its secrets?