Second Volume of the Berlin Tunnel Trilogy
To Be Published: September 8, 2020
From Amazon bestsellers list author Roger L. Liles comes the second volume
of his Cold War trilogy—THE COLD WAR BEGINS. The setting is
war-ravaged Berlin in late 1946. Spies from both sides begin to move with
relative ease throughout a Germany occupied by British, French, American and
Russian military forces. Kurt Altschuler, our hero, soon becomes one of
While working behind enemy lines as an OSS agent in France during World War
II, Kurt learns that intelligence collection involves both exhilarating and
dangerous encounters with the enemy. He relished every moment he spent as
part of the vanguard confronting the Nazis.
That war has been over for 18 months when he is offered a job as a CIA
deep-cover agent in the devastated and divided city of Berlin. He jumps at
the opportunity, but is concerned that his guise as an Associated Press News
Agency reporter will offer little action. He need not worry. Soon, he is
working undercover, deep inside of Russian-controlled southeastern Germany.
Eventually, KGB agents waylay him and tear his car and luggage apart. His
chauffeur is beaten. He is threatened with prison, torture and death.
Enter Erica Hoffmann, a very attractive, aspiring East German archeology
student. Any relationship between an undercover CIA agent and an East German
woman is strictly forbidden; she might be a KGB or Stasi agent or operative.
But he cannot help himself—he has fallen hard for her. Kurt strives
assiduously to maintain their tempestuous, star-crossed relationship.
Eventually, Kurt works to counter the efforts of Russian and East German
spies, especially a mole who is devastating Western Intelligence assets
throughout Europe. He also must work to identify and expose enemy spies who
have penetrated the very fabric of the West German government and society.
He frequently observes to others that: “the spy business is like knife
fighting in a dark closet; you know you’re going to be cut up, you
just don’t know how bad.”
About the Author
Roger L. Liles decided he had to earn a living after a BA and graduate
studies in Modern European History. He went back to school and eventually
earned an MS in Engineering from the University of Southern California in
In the 1960s, he served as an Air Force Signals Intelligence Officer in
Turkey and Germany and eventually lived in Europe for a total of eight
years. He worked in the military electronics field for forty years—his
main function was to translate engineering jargon into understandable
English and communicate it to senior decision-makers in the
Now retired after working for forty years as a senior engineering manager
and consultant with a number of aerospace companies, he spends his days
writing. His first novel, which was published in late 2018 was titled The
Berlin Tunnel—A Cold War Thriller. His second novel The Cold War
Begins was published in late 2020 and is the second volume in his planned
The Cold War Trilogy. This trilogy is based on extensive research into
Berlin during the spy-versus-spy era which followed World War II and his
personal experience while living and working in Europe. He is in the process
of writing its third volume of the trilogy which will be titled The Berlin
Tunnel—Another Crisis and takes the story into 1962 and the era of the
Cuban Missile Crisis.
Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A+
Let me start by saying that I *technically* give this book a 4.5 star rating. When I was first given an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I was ecstatic. History is one of my favorite things to learn about, and I’d done extensive research/reading on the holocaust. That desire for more knowledge had been stoked by The Diary of Anne Frank, which was one of my favorite books growing up. But this book? The Takeaway Men? It talks about what happened to Jewish (and Polish) families after the holocaust. I can’t think of any really great stories that talk about life after. Yes, I’ve read some nonfiction titles and while I enjoy those, it isn’t quite the same as getting lost in a story.
I have only a single complaint about the book. The beginning dragged a bit for me, although honestly, I can’t say why. I placed the book down and restarted twice because of this. But, about the second or third chapter, the story pulls you in and holds you hostage. Again, I’m not sure why the beginning didn’t draw me in the same way, but it may just be a “me” thing.
The characters are well-developed, believable, and flawed. Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows I’m a sucker for humanly flawed characters – and Mrs. Meryl Ain delivered. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the book in any form. BUT she has her characters doing realistically “bad” things and yet, you can’t help but love them nonetheless. Ain has you feeling for all of them – side characters and primary alike. The entire neighborhood came alive before my eyes and I lost a few nights of sleep.
The underlying mystery adds to the plot. What happened to the twin’s parents during the Holocaust? It’s a constant “background plot” that keeps you reading in the hopes you’ll learn. Of course, I can’t say whether you find out or not, but I can say that I would definitely be interested in reading anything else the author writes in the future.
The cover is intriguing and gives you a realistic idea of what to expect inside the story. The cover receives my ultra-rare “A+” rating (given to, I think, only three other covers ever) because it fills me with a sense of bittersweet melancholy… yet somehow also gives me the sense of hope. This feeling the cover gives me (and gave me before I ever began reading) is exactly how the story feels when you’re reading it.
Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A
I was so excited for this book to come out. I read and fell in love with “What Heals the Heart” and was excited for another Cowbird Creek title to come out. Wyle did NOT disappoint. This story may have been even more gripping than the first, and I absolutely loved to see yet another “not so common” romance bloom.
One of the things I love best about this book is that it takes two flawed people and puts them together. Anyone who has read my reviews knows I love flawed characters because it creates a more realistic story for me. Perfect heroes and heroines are so hard to relate to. But I also love the combination of old fashioned and female empowerment Wyle uses in her stories. The females aren’t helpless, but they do need help. They can do much of everything on their own, but the few things they can’t, the hero can – while the heroine can do what he can’t. It’s less a damsel in distress and more a real union of meeting the other’s needs.
I highly recommend this title to anyone who wants a realistic yet swoon-worthy romance that will leave you begging for more. I also recommend it to anyone who enjoys westerns, historicals, or mostly clean romance.
The cover is engaging and offers an accurate depiction of what readers should expect inside the story.
troubled souls. For Tom, a farmer’s son, losing his leg felt like
losing his future. Jenny, a young prostitute at Madam Mamie’s
parlor house, has never thought she had much future to lose.
talent. And both Tom and Jenny have a knack for hitting on new
possibilities. Can they, together, find a better path?
Creek, Nebraska, in early 1876, a few months after the conclusion of
What Heals the Heart. Several favorite characters from Book 1 make
Wonderful characters, many with hearts of gold, small-minded
characters that truly showed their ignorance and dreams that couldn’t
be broken . . . from an author who lets her words feed our
imaginations.” – Tome Tender review
between the characters . . . It is always a joy to read this author’s
stories.” – Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews
become a small town doctor. And if he wakes from nightmares more
often than he would like, only his dog Major is there to know it.
and yet enigmatic farmer’s daughter, and Freida Blum, an elderly
Jewish widow from New York. Freida knows just what Joshua needs: a
bride. But it shouldn’t be Clara Brook!
including a wager: if he can find Freida a husband, she’ll stop
trying to find him a wife. Will either matchmaker succeed? Or is it
Clara, despite her own scars, who can heal the doctor’s troubled heart?
Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers
herself a Hoosier. Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest
ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she
was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to
the goal at age 9.
of two daughters. Her voice is the product of almost five decades of
reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also
influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of
law practice. Her personal history has led her to focus on
often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility
of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.