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Double Crossing

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When a man is killed on a bridge spanning East Germany and West Berlin, Kiril Andreyev loses more than a treasured comrade-in-arms. The door has just slammed shut on a carefully engineered escape plan... »More

Paperback: 304 pages
Released: 1983
Publisher: Backinprint.com
ISBN: 0595176968
Endorsements

I enjoyed your engrossing novel, Double Crossing.”

— Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State for President Nixon

Yesterday, which was Sunday, I picked up Double Crossing about five in the evening to glance through it and before I knew it, it was a little after midnight and I had finished it. It is a book you can't put down — well-written, and with an exceedingly interesting plot. A fascinating piece of work that should be very, very successful. I will treasure it in my library.”

— Barry Goldwater, U.S. Senator

A splendid espionage story. The reader shares the desperate risk — everything need to escape from Soviet domination to freedom. High suspense, good writing, believable characters — and a climax that made me very, very glad that I was born in God's country.”

— Mary Higgins Clark, novelist

Erika Holzer's dramatic, exciting novel should be 'must reading' for those who believe the Soviet Union has any other objective than world domination and enslavement of us all. Double Crossing is an intensely human story. Yet the scenes within the USSR — familiar to any who have spent time there—are grimly accurate. ”

— Arthur Hailey, novelist

I very much enjoyed your novel Double Crossing.”

— David Kelley, The Atlas Society

The author should be particularly praised for her amazingly accurate description of everyday life in the Soviet bloc countries — remarkable for someone who has never lived there. In the face of almost universal indifference, Ms. Holzer is an exception. Her book makes a considerable contribution to better understanding of our personal responsibility in the biggest human tragedy of our time...” »More

— Vladimir Bukovsky, Soviet dissident
Reviews

Double Crossing — a first-rate novel by lawyer-turned- writer Erika Holzer — may be read as a 'page-turner'...but for lovers of serious art, it will become, as well, the kind of deeply moving experience only serious fiction can offer. That Holzer imaginatively entwines suspense and seriousness is her most stunning achievement....” »More

— Alexandra York, Aristos

Re-reading Double Crossing after a hiatus of 23 years ... I was prepared to find it dated. But [it] has aged nicely. In fact, I found it even better this go-round....” »More

— Robert L. Jones, book and movie reviewer; journalist

Double Crossing — a nail-biting anti-Soviet thriller — quite simply has everything going for it. Ms. Holzer, praised in superlatives by many top-selling authors, displays devious plotting, vivid and multidimensional characterizations, and judicious selectivity. The novel succeeds both as dandy entertainment for the general reader, and as a subtle novel of ideas.... [I]t went immediately into a second printing and was selected as a Literary Guild alternate. The theme of Double Crossing is man’s profound need for personal liberty, and it’s story is one man’s lifelong ambition to flee the Soviet system to the West....” »More

— Robert Bidinotto, The Boston Herald

With background and character as rich as the writing of [John] Le Carré, Double Crossing adds plot and pacing that defy the reader to put it down.

“Once in a while, a novel of compelling power thrusts its way to the surface. Erika Holzer’s Double Crossing is such a novel. What lifts it far above the standard espionage thriller takes more than crisp storytelling.

“The author subtly dramatizes ideas in a different, near-visceral way. As Holzer examines values and conflicting ideologies in each wrenching plot twist, the story builds to a nearly unbearable pressure-point of tension.

Double Crossing is a novel with a stirring theme, with rich and believable characters, and with a genuinely suspenseful plot.”

Mystery News

The sophisticated reader of books tends to disregard the [publisher’s] puff pieces and fulsome endorsements (some of them sounding as if they were written by the same person). But we’ve discovered a scintillating exception — Double Crossing ... [which] deserves all the praise being heaped upon it: ‘thoroughly researched’ ... ‘highly dramatic’ ... ‘intensely human’ ... ‘rammed with wonderful characters and charged with atmosphere’ ... ‘a taut, well-written novel bigger than reality but solidly grounded in it....’” »More

The Union Leader

Novels and films designed to reach the masses and the American intellectual community have taken a dramatic turn to the Left,” says the author of this exciting suspense novel, Double Crossing (Putnam).

“"People on the Right," she adds, "have complained about this, have analyzed the bias. But they have not understood that we on the Right should generate ‘entertainments’ with our own compelling message."

“Erika Holzer has done exactly that with what she calls her “human rights” espionage novel. She has written a powerful anticommunist story — with one of the most ingenious plots of any mystery story ever written. Once you begin reading this novel, you won't be able to put it down until the last exciting page.

“And you won’t find a word or an incident to offend a reader of any age.

“If, as Ms. Holzer says, "Fiction is a neglected arm in the war of ideas," she has taken a giant step toward changing this situation.”

The Mindszenty Report, Editorial: Books to Illuminate the Darkness of our Minds with Knowledge

[Double Crossing] is about ... journalists and culturati who think the topic of people living under Communism is a bore; about humanitarians who think of human slavery as a bargain price to pay for cradle-to-grave medical care; about good-will ambassadors who think dissidents and refugees are spoilsports....” »More

— John Dunlop, The American Spectator
Preface

The Glienicker Bridge is an iron bridge reconstructed in 1908-9. Half the bridge belongs to the East Zone and is called “Bruecke der Einheit” [Bridge of Unity]...*

In early morning mists we had driven through deserted West Berlin to reach ... our rendezvous ... the ... bridge called "Bridge of Freedom” [Bruecke der Freiheit] in 1945 by our GIs and the Russians...**

Glienicker Bridge, which figures prominently in this novel, was marked for destruction by the Nazis during the closing days of World War II — as were all bridges leading to Berlin. Only Glienicker survived their explosives, but it was badly damaged.

Later it was repaired, but not in time for the Potsdam Conference in July of 1945. A temporary pontoon (floating) bridge had to be used by President Truman and other representatives of the Western powers to cross the Havel River that separates Berlin from Potsdam.

That American GIs were detailed to work on the bridge repairs in 1945 is fact. That Russian soldiers were detailed to assist them may or may not be fiction. But given the temper of the times — the spirit of cooperation that the West was avidly pursuing with the Soviet Union immediately after the war — it is plausible.

That such cooperative efforts between the GIs and their Russian counterparts may have culminated in a "Freedom Bridge" dedication ceremony is possible. The idea, dramatized in this novel, was sparked by lawyer James Donovan's terse reference above to a "Bridge of Freedom" — a characterization of what may have happened at Glienicker that proved impossible either to verify or to disprove.

ERIKA HOLZER

* The Karl Baedeker Guidebook to Berlin

** James B. Donovan, American lawyer for convicted Soviet spy Colonel Rudolf Abel, recalling Abel’s exchange for U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers in 1962 on Glienicker Bridge (Strangers on a Bridge) (Atheneum House)

Prologue

Paul Houston, American diplomat, walked — reluctantly — into a palace he hadn't seen since his foreign correspondent days over thirty years ago. Cecelienhof Palace in Postdam, East Germany. Site of the Potsdam Conference after the war. Site of another conference in — Houston checked his watch. Less than an hour. What the hell, he thought as he tracked the overhead noise up some stairs. This was the age of sequels, wasn't it? If they get away with it in the movies, why not in diplomatic circles?

The pre-conference cocktail hour was in noisy full swing. Moscow red, transported ad nauseam to Potsdam.... Red walls, red gilt-trimmed chairs like the ones in the conference room downstairs, red tablecloth on a sumptuous buffet table. Clusters of solicitous Russian waiters were serving drinks. Clusters of solicitous delegates — the Americans and British — hovered about the Soviet delegation.

The French stood aloof in another corner. The three Soviet delegates, dark and squat like sawed-off tree trunks, were flanked by a tall, blond... »More

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