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The Matchmaker

A Spy in Berlin

Paul Vidich



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No Exit Press
01 May 2022
Berlin, 1989. Anne Simpson, an American who works as a translator at the Joint Operations Refugee Committee, thinks she is in a normal marriage with a charming East German. But then her husband disappears and the CIA and Western German intelligence arrive at her door. Nothing about her marriage is as it seems.

Anne had been targeted by the Matchmaker - a high level East German counterintelligence officer - who runs a network of Stasi agents. These agents are his 'Romeos' who marry vulnerable women in West Berlin to provide them with cover as they report back to the Matchmaker. Anne has been married to a spy, and now he has disappeared, and is presumably dead.

The CIA are desperate to find the Matchmaker because of his close ties to the KGB. They believe he can establish the truth about a high-ranking Soviet defector. They need Anne because she's the only person who has seen his face - from a photograph that her husband mistakenly left out in his office - and she is the CIA's best chance to identify him before the Matchmaker escapes to Moscow.

Time is running out as the Berlin Wall falls and chaos engulfs East Germany. But what if Anne's husband is not dead? And what if Anne has her own motives for finding the Matchmaker to deliver a different type of justice?

Praise for Paul Vidich

'This deserves to rank with vintage Le Carr.' - Mail on Sunday

'An author in control of both his story and its arena. Vidich's style is sparse but atmospheric. Carefully deployed tradecraft and technical knowledge only add to the air of verisimilitude.' - Financial Times

'In short, this is one of the year's premier spy novels, a close study of individual lives set against global turmoil, a heady blend of spy games and their very human consequences' - CrimeReads

'Vidich's visualisation of time and place is masterly.' - Times

'Cold War spy fiction in the grand tradition - neatly plotted betrayals in that shadow world where no one can be trusted and agents are haunted by their own moral compromises' - Joseph Kanon
Imprint:   No Exit Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
ISBN:   9780857304490
ISBN 10:   0857304496
Pages:   256
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Paul Vidich has had a distinguished career in music and media. Most recently, he served as Special Advisor to AOL and was Executive Vice President at the Warner Music Group, in charge of technology and global strategy. He serves on the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers and The New School for Social Research. A founder and publisher of the Storyville App, Vidich is also an award-winning author of short fiction. His novels, An Honorable Man, The Good Assassin, The Coldest Warrior and The Mercenary, are available from No Exit Press.

Reviews for The Matchmaker: A Spy in Berlin

There is a casual elegance to Vidich's spy fiction (now numbering five books), a seeming effortlessness that belies his superior craftsmanship. Every plot point, character motivation and turn of phrase veers toward the understated, but they are never underwritten. The Matchmaker is an ideal entrance into Vidich's work, one that should compel new readers to plumb his backlist * New York Times (Editors' Choice) * Vividly drawn. Vidich skilfully weaves Anne's story - and her growing strength - into the wider political backdrop, ramping up the tension in a complex, engrossing tale * Financial Times * Vidich's books are one of the glories of the contemporary spy scene. Subtle, sophisticated (with echoes of Graham Greene) * The i * With a capable female protagonist, Vidich brings a modern sensibility to the complex machinations of the traditional spy novel * Washington Post (10 Noteworthy Books for February) * a novel that is at its strongest in its awareness of who pays the price when states use people for their own ends -- James Owen * Times *

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