After the experience of the East German political upheaval in 1989/90 Max Hertzberg became a Stasi files researcher. Since then, he has also been a book seller and a social change trainer and facilitator.
He is currently working on COLD ISLAND, a novel set in the near future of a post-Brexit UK (available autumn 2018)
Visit the author’s website for background information on the GDR, features on this series and its characters, as well as guides to walking tours around the East Berlin in which these books are set.
Everyone likes a good crime thriller, and Cold War spy stories are pretty cool too – but what happens when a crime/spy story gets mixed up with utopian hopes?
Imagine a counter-factual East Germany – an East Germany that still exists, an East Germany that didn’t collapse in the revolution of 1989, but introduced radical political and economic changes to stay independent.
Stealing the Future is one of those rare attempts to describe a “realistic utopia” – it seeks to describe that phase of hard work, hope and (seemingly?) insurmountable challenges.
The first book, Stealing the Future, is set in East Germany in 1993, four years after the start of the revolution in 1989. The country is changing fast, transforming itself from a Marxist-Leninist planned society into something equitable and fair – a Grassroots Democratic Republic. But the pace of change shouldn’t be overestimated, there’s a limit to how much can be achieved in just a few years, and opponents to the project can be found on both sides of the Berlin Wall.
The second book in the series, Thoughts are Free, will be available in January 2017.
It’s more than twenty-five years since Mara arrived in Britain, yet today she no longer feels safe in the country she thought she knew.
Threatened with deportation, Mara embarks on a journey across the moors of northern England, hoping to reach the relative safety of Scotland - but Immigration Enforcement is never far behind.
For Lieutenant Reim of the Stasi, life in East Berlin is a satisfying blend of days behind a desk and nights in front of a bottle.
When a senior officer has a messy affair, it falls to Reim to do the clearing up, but once he begins to investigate his superior he realises his own life is at risk.
Cracking DDR crime from the author of the East Berlin Series
East Berlin, 1994
In the wake of a divisive referendum the people of the GDR are trying to find some common ground.
But an ex-dissident uncovers plans for a power grab by communist hard-liners—can the grassroots democracy of round tables and workers’ councils survive, or will the country be dragged back into the authoritarian rule of the past?
Book 3 in the East Berlin Series
East Berlin, 1994: The GDR is divided by a referendum and fascist skinheads roam the streets.
Four years later, the GDR is in turmoil: in a city ravaged by politics and economic meltdown it's time for the dreamers of 1989 face up to hard reality.
But when an ex-Stasi agent goes undercover on a mission against the fascists, events begin to spiral out of control.
Book 2 in the East Berlin Series
Behind the Berlin Wall a dissident is on the trail of a killer
1993. After forty years of communist rule it's time for change in the GDR. Direct democracy, citizen's movements and de-centralization are part of the new political landscape.
But when Martin Grobe, dissident turned investigator, discovers a Stasi plot he needs to act fast to save the young republic.
Book 1 in the East Berlin Series