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Music at the Garden House

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Secrets, pursuit and betrayal when the Berlin Wall comes down

Axel’s affair with Katharine was doomed from the start. For one thing, she was married; for another, she was a foreigner. In Cold War Moscow, there was no place for them. Besides, Axel had loyalties he could not reveal, and career plans it was wiser not to talk about.

But ten years later in London, his path crosses Katharine’s again. The Berlin Wall has fallen, communism is collapsing, old secrets are coming to light, and Axel has to run. Reluctantly, Katharine helps him escape, and they drive across Europe with the KGB hot on their heels.

Somewhere between London and Prague, the old attraction revives, until Katharine finds out what really happened in Moscow, and Axel realizes his life has gone so badly wrong he may never get it right again.

The Sunday Times called Music at the Garden House “a tense and intriguing novel that raises provocative questions about betrayal: personal, national and political,” and praised it as “a thrilling adventure and a somber portrait of the decay of the Soviet system.”

Music at the Garden House was conceived as the second part of a Soviet trilogy exploring the moral compromises forced on the individual in a police state. The first book in the series is The Angels of Russia and the third is Café Maracanda.  

For insights into the “making of” Music at the Garden House, see Driving to Koenigsberg on this site, and for an account of the “Mauerfall”, see When the Berlin Wall Came Down.

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