Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman

Safe Houses

In this gripping new work of suspense from the author of The Double Game, a young woman discovers a nefarious truth at the heart of the CIA's operations in postwar Berlin and goes on the run for her life; years later she's gruesomely murdered along with her husband, and her daughter begins to chase down these startling secrets from her past.West Berlin, 1979. Helen Abell oversees the CIA's network of safe houses, rare havens for field agents and ...

Details Safe Houses

TitleSafe Houses
Release DateJul 3rd, 2018
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreThriller, Fiction, Mystery, Mystery Thriller

Reviews Safe Houses

  • Katie B
    3.5 starsI was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this book given I don't typically read very many CIA based thrillers. Now I can't say how realistic it was but it definitely held my interest from start to finish. The action goes back and forth between 1970s Berlin with Helen Abell who oversees the safe houses for CIA agents and 2014 when she along with her husband are murdered on their farm in Maryland and their daughter is desperate for answ...
  • Cindy Burnett
    Safe Houses is an enjoyable dual timeline story that delves into the CIA’s operations in Berlin during the later years of the Cold War. In 1979, Helen Abell oversees the safe houses that the CIA maintains in Berlin. One night she accidentally overhears a strange conversation in one of the houses and then subsequently stumbles into another dangerous encounter. Abell decides to expose those responsible which leads to a decades long vendetta that ...
  • Amy
    As much as I love thrillers the sub genre of espionage thrillers is not one that I read very often, but the premise of Safe Houses captured my attention immediately. I’m a sucker for old mysteries colliding with current happenings and the two timelines here ended up coming together in a powerful and intense way.This begins in 1979 in Berlin and follows Helen, a woman who organizes safe houses. What I found most interesting about this portion wa...
  • Joanna Park
    This was a fantastic spy thriller that I really enjoyed.  The story is told in two parts one based in cold war Berlin and one in 2014.  The Cold War has always held a lot of intrigue for me, not least because my dad was posted to Germany when the wall was still present.  The tension is created naturally in this timeline as the there is a general feeling of mistrust and fear amoung the residents.My favourite character was Helen who is the only ...
  • Janelle
    Thank you so much Knopf for providing my free copy of SAFE HOUSES by Dan Fesperman - all opinions are my own.This espionage thriller is told in dual timelines, alternating between 1979 and 2014. It starts off in postwar Berlin, where Helen Abell oversees safe houses for the CIA Network. One night she enters one of the houses and inadvertently stumbles across something horrible and has the tapes to prove it. Fast forward thirty five years to 2014 ...
  • Dave
    Safe Houses is a terrific espionage thriller that is part espionage story from a divided Cold War Berlin in 1979 where everyone is on edge, isolated, nervous, ready for action, and a more modern-day murder mystery. Fesperman does an excellent job of tying together these two threads and the shadowy characters and lethal black ops agents at work. The focus is on what powerful people can get away with, particularly with vulnerable female agents who ...
  • Linda Zagon
    “Safe Houses” by Dan Fesperman is a captivating, intense and intriguing novel. The Genres for this novel are Mystery, Suspense, Thriller and Fiction. The timelines for the story starts is West Berlin in 1974, and through different narration, continues to the present. The story takes place in many countries.The author describes the characters as complicated and conflicted. Some are courageous, and some are calculating. There is a trace of a th...
  • Helga Cohen
    I heard the author speak about the book, Safe Houses on an NPR interview and knew I had to read it. It was an intriguing espionage thriller that is told in dual time periods, alternating between Cold War Berlin in 1979 and a modern-day 2014 murder mystery.Helen Abell oversees the safe houses that are maintained by the CIA in Berlin. While doing an inspection one night, she accidentally overhears a strange coded conversation in one of the houses a...
  • Jessica
    Full review to follow on tour date - 7/2
  • Gare Billings
    SAFE HOUSES by Dan Fesperman is a thrilling espionage mystery novel that alternates between 1979 Berline and present time Maryland. Going into this one, I knew I was in for something menacing and unlike anything I've ever read. I was 100% correct. As this was my first novel that kind of dipped its toes in the whole spy/espionage genre, I was intrigued and heavily surprised with how Fesperman was able to not only transport me into such unfamiliar ...
  • Annie
    Helen Abell heard something she wasn’t supposed to hear at the beginning of Dan Fesperman’s Safe Houses. In fact, she hears two things she wasn’t supposed to hear. Also, she was taping the people speaking in one of the Berlin safe houses she monitors for the CIA. Even worse: some of the people who were saying things they shouldn’t know she has incriminating tapes. This is the set up for a thrilling mystery that spans almost four decades a...
  • Argum
    I received a free copy of this book from Penguin First To Read. Told in two parts, 1979 Berlin sees a woman working a mostly clerical CIA job struggling to break out of the box that her sex and her superiors attitude has placed her in. When she accidentally discovers two big secrets and has tapes to prove it, an adventure for her life begins. In the other part, we see the modern day aftermath of her death as her daughter works to figure out what ...
  • Anita Boeira
    I’m a sucker for spy stories, especially women spies. There are two main storylines in this book, and Helen’s was by far the most intriguing for me. Couldn’t put it down.
  • Stephanie
    I love fiction that includes some political intrigue/espionage, and if it is a mystery/thriller that’s all the better! Cold War timeframe is great if done well (I loved Jake Tapper’s Hellfire Club, for example). So Dan Fesperman’s Safe Houses seemed right up my alley, especially as it was praised by Lee Child as being "One of the great espionage novels of our time," so I was happy to write an honest review in exchange for a copy of this boo...
  • Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
    Thank you to Abby and Knopf Books for inviting me on to this blog tour and providing me with a free book. All opinions are my own. I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.I normally do not read a lot of spy/espionage thrillers, it's never been a type of book that caught my attention. But when Abby Endler brings a book to your attention, and invites you on to a Blog Tour, I don't care who you are, you do it. And because of that, I feel like I got t...
  • Cheryl
    When I imagine "spy" thrillers, I think of books like this one. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The dual storylines were great. They intertwined nicely to lead into one another without overpowering one another. Although, I have to admit that for a while in the beginning, it was the past with Helen that had captured more of my love and attention. Helen was one tough but good agent. It is because of her honesty and stubbornness that lead to her dea...
  • Kelsie
    I hate reviews with spoilers so you won't read any here. All you'll get is my humble opinion about the quality of this novel. This is was my first Dan Fesperman novel, but I declare it a must-read. I love a story where the author has done his/her research. Mr. Fesperman did his research and delivered a beautifully developed storyline and engaging characters. The plot twists were well thought out. The author managed to make a novel with dual story...
  • Jim Mullin
    Dan Fesperman, a favorite author of mine has hit one over the fence with his latest book, Safe Houses. An intriguing suspense thriller set in the CIA cold war years; I literally could not stop reading it. I highly recommend it.
  • Regan
    My first Fesperman book. Except for the gratuitous and sense murder of an old dog I loved it. If I had know he brutally killed the dog, Scooter, I would not have read the book. Seriously, hurting him or just threatening him would have worked. Aside from that a really good read.
  • Michael Martz
    Dan Fesperman's 'Safe Houses' is easily one of the best spy novels of the year, beautifully written with a compelling story, great characters, and a satisfying ending with a nice twist. If you're a fan of the genre, you'll love this book!
  • Angela Gibson
    This book had me reading until late (early?) into the morning hours when I should have been sleeping. I was hooked.I finished the book the next day and thought that I was reading a different book. The author writes two story lines, one in 1978 Berlin and one in modern day American small town. The main character, Helen Abell, crosses into both timelines, one as a young CIA spy in Berlin and as a murdered character in modern day. The spy story was ...
  • Angie
    A very enjoyable read, jumping between 1979 Berlin/Paris and modern-day US east coast. I often got caught up in the action, enjoying myself, and then in a lull, would wonder: wait, there's not all that much to this, is there? I don't know -- the vast conspiracies seemed, well, not so vast, or terribly important in the grand scheme of things. But I did enjoy it, and it was well put-together. A few strong female characters to lead the story, althou...
  • Liz
    This is an excellent thriller that is really two intertwined cloak and dagger stories that take place thirty five years apart. Both are interesting and both are driven by intuitive, forceful female leads. Lots of twists and turns that made it a pleasure to read this well-written story that I really enjoyed.I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review.
  • Karen Cole
    Safe Houses is a fairly long read and could almost be described as two stories in one. The first follows Helen Abell, a CIA field agent working in Berlin in 1979 during the Cold War. There are still plenty of men in the CIA of the '70s who believe women are a liability to the Agency and Helen's boss is no exception. When she arrived in Berlin she was handed a position which was once a clerical role but despite the obvious snub, Helen is determine...
  • Carrie
    Thanks to the first to read program for a digital arc of this book to read and review.This book falls between a 3.5 and 4 for me but I liked the ending so I went with the higher star rating.It took me a little while to get into this book and I think that was primarily because I didn't have an understanding as to what exactly was going on and who the characters were. Once I got further into the book, I found myself enjoying it and was curious as t...
  • Laura
    DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Penguin First to Read in exchange for a fair and honest review.Berlin 1979: a city full of spies and counterspies. Espionage was dangerous and involved many ordinary people. Helen was one of them. Even though her job was not one of the highest risk, she knew secrets that could come back to haunt her at any time. Today she would be called...
  • Syed Gilani
    True flairs of Dan Fesperman are marveling in the Novel with his sheer power of research and then annoyance of abrupt teleportation of the reader from Berlin and Paris of late 1970s to 21st century United States. The novel is the best of him, and his exploration. It tells the vicious nature of Private Espionage, inception of Private Espionage industry, starting from the Pond, inefficient bureaucratic management of CIA’s big shots during the Col...
  • Jean Kolinofsky
    This is not the first book that I have read by Dan Fesperman and I have never been disappointed. In this book he intertwines two stories, that of Helen Abell in 1979 Berlin and her daughter in 2014 Maryland. Helen’s story involves her accidentaly recording a conversation between two agents in one of the safe houses that she cares for. When she returns to erase the tape she is witness to a sexual assault by an agent on one of his informants. The...
  • Corny
    I like Fesperman for the settings of his novels. Much like Alan Furst, he chooses European venues usually at the time of a crisis. While Furst mainly stages his books around WWII, Fesperman chooses more recent events. This book is no exception, cutting deftly between Berlin in 1979 and present day Maryland. The heroine 23 year old Helen Abell is working for the CIA in Berlin as the story opens. She has a quick temper and being female is disdained...
  • Jessi Brewer
    Looking for a gripping and brilliant espionage novel? Look no further, this is 100% it! Dan Fespermans' Safehouses' is intensely intriguing and geniusly flips not only between narrators, but also, time periods, and places. The use of the narration in this manner makes 'Safe Houses' a super fast, very clever, meaty, and immensely thrilling read.The realistic prose as well as the high tension atmosphere, makes you feel as though you are there, with...