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  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

Tunnel 29: Love, Espionage and Betrayal: the True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall

Helena Merriman

14 Reviews

Rated 0

The Cold War

The true story of the most remarkable escape tunnel under the Berlin Wall, from the creator of the acclaimed BBC podcast.

'Merriman excels at recreating the physicality of their experiences: the smell of dense clay, the click-clack of a woman walking down the street above in high heels... Merriman has burrowed her way deep into interviews, news reports and Stasi files to fashion an impressive real life page-turner.' Guardian

'An audacious and compelling tale, told with narrative tension and novelistic drive, creating a fascinating portrayal of life in Berlin in the early days of the Wall.' Observer

'A fantastic story, exceedingly well told...more gripping than a thriller. The story arc, through betrayal and disaster to triumph, is perfect...a cracking tale that deserves retelling.' The Times

'Helena Merriman's book is a tour de force... The chapters on the day of the escape are possibly the most suspenseful I have ever read, in fiction as well as nonfiction.' Scotsman

'its skilful blend of a dynamic protagonist, intrigue, spooks, deception, and a love divided imbues Tunnel 29 with all the qualities of a taut Cold War spy thriller.' Sunday Business Post

'Captivating... Ms Merriman's well-crafted book does justice to the extraordinary bravery of her characters.' Economist 'This new book... allows readers to slip into Joachim's shoes as if living this extraordinary experience... This is a remarkable tale, beautifully told and utterly compelling.' BBC History Magazine

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He's just escaped from one of the world's most brutal regimes.

Now, he decides to tunnel back in.

It's summer, 1962, and Joachim Rudolph, a student, is digging a tunnel under the Berlin Wall. Waiting on the other side in East Berlin - dozens of men, women and children; all willing to risk everything to escape.

From the award-winning creator of the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 podcast, Tunnel 29 is the true story of the most remarkable escape tunnel dug under the Berlin Wall. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with the survivors, and thousands of pages of Stasi documents, Helena Merriman brilliantly reveals the stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious group of student-diggers, the glamorous red-haired messenger, the American News network which films the escape, and the Stasi spy who betrays it. For what Joachim doesn't know as he burrows closer to East Germany, is that the escape operation has been infiltrated. As the escapees prepare to crawl through the cold, wet darkness, above them, the Stasi are closing in.

Tunnel 29 is about what happens when people lose their freedom - and how some will do anything to win it back.

Accla
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Praise for Tunnel 29: Love, Espionage and Betrayal: the True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall

  • 'An almost unbelievable story of bravery, endeavour, and humanity... you won't be able to put it down' - Dermot O'Leary

  • 'Merriman takes us inside not only the tunnel, but also the personal lives of those who dug it. We feel we're experiencing history as it happens. It's a gripping story of bravery, determination and, ultimately, love.' - Lindsey Hillsum, International Editor for Channel 4 News

  • Acclaim for the BBC podcast series: - -

  • Gripping... as pacey as the best Netflix thriller - Evening Standard

  • Combining the fun of a thriller that we know will end happily with grim perspective on history and tyranny. Merriman's evocation of the night the Berlin Wall went up is particularly stunning - New Yorker

  • Both a Big BBC Podcast and a really great listen - Observer

  • A fantastic story, exceedingly well told...more gripping than a thriller. The story arc, through betrayal and disaster to triumph, is perfect...a cracking tale that deserves retelling' - The Times

  • Captivating... Ms Merriman's well-crafted book does justice to the extraordinary bravery of her characters. - Economist

  • This new book... allows readers to slip into Joachim's shoes as if living this extraordinary experience... This is a remarkable tale, beautifully told and utterly compelling. - BBC History Magazine

  • - Sunday Business Post

  • 'An audacious and compelling tale, told with narrative tension and novelistic drive, creating a fascinating portrayal of life in Berlin in the early days of the Wall. - Observer

  • its skilful blend of a dynamic protagonist, intrigue, spooks, deception, and a love divided imbues Tunnel 29 with all the qualities of a taut Cold War spy thriller.

  • 'Helena Merriman's book is a tour de force... The chapters on the day of the escape are possibly the most suspenseful I have ever read, in fiction as well as nonfiction.'

  • - Scotsman

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Helena Merriman

Helena Merriman is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. As well as writing and producing Tunnel 29, she created The Inquiry - an award-winning BBC current affairs podcast. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

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