Friday, July 21, 2023

Cover Reveal: The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay

Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing Katherine Reay's A Shadow in Moscow, which was a great way to begin my summer reading. I remarked, "It is certainly a Cold War spy novel, but it also conveys a message of resilience and hope to humanity in search of Light. Author Katherine Reay has crafted a fine work and should be congratulated for her achievement." I was thrilled to learn that for her next title, Reay will once again be abiding in the world of espionage. With an expected publication date of March 5th next year, The Berlin Letters will this time focus on the talents of the code breakers of the Cold War. I've been given a sneak peak into this novel of covert operations, familial heartache and a bit of romance. Read below for not only a more expansive description of the book, but also a message from Katherine with a final reveal of the fantastic cover art!


Near the end of the Cold War, a CIA code breaker discovers a symbol she recognizes from her childhood, which launches her across the world to the heart of Berlin just before the wall comes tumbling down.

November 1989—After finding a secret cache of letters with intelligence buried in the text, CIA cryptographer Luisa Voekler learns that not only is her father alive, but he is languishing in an East German Stasi jail. After piecing together the letters with a series of articles her grandfather saved, Luisa seeks out journalists Bran Bishop and Daniel Rudd. They send her to the CIA, to Andrew Cademan—her boss.

Luisa confronts Cademan and learns that nothing is a coincidence, but he will not help her free her father. So, she takes matters into her own hands, empties her bank account, and flies to West Berlin. As the adrenaline wears off and she recognizes she has no idea how to proceed, Luisa is both relieved and surprised when a friend shows up with contacts and a rudimentary plan to sneak her across the wall.

Alternating storylines between Luisa and her father, The Berlin Letters shows the tumultuous early days of the wall, bringing Berlin, the epicenter of the Cold War, to life while also sharing one family’s journey through secrets, lies, and division to love, freedom, and reconciliation.


Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for your extraordinary support for my current novel, A Shadow in Moscow. I am still on tour right now sharing the story with libraries and bookstores, and I am beyond grateful each day as I see your reviews and support on social media. So, again, thank you! [See the schedule in the graphic at right for upcoming appearances.]

I want you all to be the first to see the cover for my new novel, The Berlin Letters, which will be released March 5th, 2024. After A Shadow in Moscow, it was the book I had to write. While Ingrid’s and Anya’s stories were sometimes difficult, they were also fascinating and took me to places I had not anticipated. The ideas of sacrifice, freedom, courage, love, hiddenness, and the shadows between perception and reality, rose within that novel and wouldn’t let me go.  

While still pondering a lot of those themes, I came across these photographs and many more. They are of the very early days — even the first day — of the Berlin Wall in 1961. I read stories of mothers passing their children over the barbed wire. I read of one East German soldier jumping over it himself. I began to envision what might happen… To the mother. To the father. To the child passed over the Wall on that August morning in 1961.  

Luisa Voekler, the story’s leading character, is that young girl and she doesn’t know of this past until the Wall’s final week in 1989. Then, like me, she can’t let it go. She starts a search. She plots a rescue mission. And in the process, she finds her father and she finds herself.  

Like A Shadow in Moscow, this is a split-time story. One POV will take you behind the Wall with Haris Voekler, Luisa’s father, while Luisa will tell you her own story and carry readers from Washington DC to Berlin. There are, of course, a whole host of other characters as well — some you’ll love, some you’ll question, and others you’ll simply worry about. You’ll worry because The Berlin Letters is a race, a chase, a spy novel, and a love story. And, I must say, there’s an old friend who comes to Luisa’s aid I developed a little crush on — you might find yourself sighing and swooning over Daniel too.  

Thank you so much for sharing the cover of this new story — I love it! You see Luisa front and center, in the exact outfit she wears during a scene in East Berlin, and you see her resting on a Trabant, just about the only car East Berliner’s could purchase at the time. I love the fact that the car is yellow too! And doesn’t that font just scream 1980s?  

And while the themes within this story focus upon many of the questions in our hearts, there is so much lightness and fun as well. And, once it’s out in the world, I hope you each will close that final page with a smile, a sigh, and a deep sense of hope.  

All the best to you! 



Isn't this cover fabulous?!?  I love Luisa's ensemble, and what I can see of her reminds me of the actress Emma Roberts. The spunky yellow car also calls to mind the one seen in the recent movie Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1. Talk about chases and spy action! Clearly I have this kind of content on the brain. I also enjoyed the television series The Bletchley Circle, which focused on code breakers in 1950s Britain. There are so many intriguing elements to this upcoming novel from Katherine Reay. I know what will be on my nightstand this coming March. I hope you check it out as well!


Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels and one work of nonfiction.

For her fiction, Katherine writes love letters to books, and her novels are saturated with what she calls the “world of books.” They are character driven stories that examine the past as a way to find one’s best way forward. In the words of The Bronte Plot’s Lucy Alling, Katherine writes of “that time when you don’t know where you’ll be, but you can’t stay as you are.”



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