Further reviews will be posted once they become available.

Mark Hooker
Oct 2008

Adrian de Hoog, an author from the wide-open prairies and icy-cold of Canada, delivers a fresh, new perspective on the game of espionage in his two novels: The Berlin Assignment (2006) and Borderless Deceit (2007). These are not bang and boom spy thrillers, but are rather novels with spies in them. The Berlin Assignment plays out against the backdrop of post-wall Berlin and the problems of German reunification. Borderless Deceit is the tale of the Canadian role in the intelligence war against illicit weapons trafficking and money laundering that begins with the same kind of cyber attack that was launched on Georgia before the Russians invaded in August 2008. The world of fiction was ahead of the real world on this one. Borderless Deceit came out before the attack became a fact.

Noel Taylor
Ottawa Citizen
June 10, 2007

Adrian de Hoog started writing his first novel while he was based with Canadian Foreign Affairs in its Berlin consulate. "I found I was enjoying the process so much I thought why don't I do this full time?" he recalls.

De Hoog retired in 2004 and his debut novel (whose title, The Berlin Assignment, confirms his obsession with that city), based on his experiences in the German capital, came out two years later. Now he is expecting his second book to appear this fall in time for the Christmas market, and the third is taking shape "up here," tapping his brow. But not for a few months. "I need a break, I never realized how tough it was just getting started."

Priya Kumari Rana
Good Housekeeping (India)
September 2007

Retired diplomats usually write boring memoirs, often about 'I, me and myself'. Adrian de Hoog, former Canadian ambassador, is in that rare group of authors who have profited from their peripatetic life to soak in the atmosphere of one of the great world capitals, Berlin, and produce a highly readable novel. This work blends authentic local flavour, an intimate knowledge of two absorbing genres, diplomacy and espionage, and an incredibly complex era, the period immediately after the end of the Cold War and German Unification. The novel is also an object lesson in the mindless logic of bureaucracies - theirs and ours.

Christina Leadlay
June 27, 2007

Former diplomats-turned-writers tend to stick to the style they know best. Those who've spent their careers compiling reports based on careful observations of goings-on tend to stick with memoirs or autobiographies. But Adrian de Hoog has bravely plunged into the realm of fiction in his first book since retiring from the Canadian foreign service in 2004, and I'm happy to say it's a worthwhile read.

Don Graves
The Hamilton Spectator
March 10, 2007

De Hoog's first novel, The Berlin Assignment, is the story of a Canadian diplomat's eventful career in Berlin shortly after the fall of the Wall.

Postwall Berlin is a puzzle of lingering intrigue where the divisions between East and West persist despite revised appearances and new-found energy. De Hoog's setting evokes the richness of custom, history and new beginnings, complete with the hatred and love ingrained in the city and its people.

Kevin O'Shea
Bout de Papier
Winter/Spring 2007

Adrian De Hoog's first novel, The Berlin Assignment is a very good read, well crafted and smartly written as it follows a FS officer who returns to Berlin 25 years after his post graduate studies there. His coming back sets off a chain of events, clouded in the ambiguously sinister atmosphere of post Cold War Berlin. For those who love a fog and intrigue in Berlin, this is your book.

Alidë Kohlhaas
The Lanceteer
December 2006

With the end of the Cold War-or at least the overt aspects of it-writers of spy novels suddenly found themselves without material to write gripping tales. Novelists such as John Le Carré began to flounder, writing some truly awful books. Then al-Qaeda became more prominent and writers turned to the Middle East for their spy material. These books are by now becoming a dime a dozen, and are getting pretty boring. One appreciates, therefore, when a writer turns to the aftermath of the fall of the Wall in Berlin for a novel that features the intrigue that is part of the woof and warp of that city.

Jean Graham

It's not clear to me exactly why Breakwater Books has published "The Berlin Assignment" by Adrian de Hoog. He's not a Newfoundland (or Labrador) writer, and the only connection to this province in the entire 511 pages of the book is the spouse of a relatively minor character.

We're just lucky I guess. And I mean that most sincerely - this is easily the most gripping novel I've read this year. (Need a reference point? I read "The Da Vinci Code" right after "The Berlin Assignment".)

Joan Sullivan
The Telegram
September 3, 2006

This well-crafted spy thriller combines an exciting, well evoked time - Berlin just after the destruction of the wall - with some engaging characters.

Anthony Hanbury is the Canadian consul in Berlin, a city he lived in years before. He's mostly interested in revisiting old haunts and finding new loves.