President John F. Kennedy has been in office less than a year, and the Berlin Wall is about to slam shut the last escape route out of Communist Eastern Europe. Uncertain about the Soviets' intentions, Kennedy sends Blackford Oakes into the chaos of East Berlin to plumb the depths of the crisis. Oakes's contact is Henri Tod, leader of a group of German dissidents who has a price on his head and an ingenious plan that might just save the West from Eastern Bloc domination. When Tod mysteriously vanishes, Oakes locks horns with the ultimate opponent, East Germany's unscrupulous party boss Walter Ulbricht, in a story created by William F. Buckley Jr., one of the foremost political thinkers and master storytellers of our time. Who will win this cloak-and-dagger chess game?
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