Nominated by:

Zentral- u. Landesbibliothek Berlin, Germany

Publisher of nominated edition:

Harvill Secker, UK

Plan D

Simon Urban      

Translated from the original German by Katy Derbyshire

2015 Longlist

A modern-day Cold War thriller: Robert Harris’s Fatherland meets John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

Imagine a world in which the Berlin Wall never fell…

October 2011. While West Berlin enjoys all the trappings of capitalism, on the crowded, polluted, Eastern side of the Wall, the GDR is facing bankruptcy. The ailing government’s only hope lies in economic talks with the West, but then an ally of the GDR’s chairman is found murdered – and all the clues suggest that his killer came from within the Stasi.

Detective Martin Wegener is assigned to the case, but, with the future of East Germany hanging over him, Wegener must work with the West German police if he is to find the killer, even if it means investigating the Stasi themselves. It is a journey that will take him from Stasi meeting rooms to secret prisons as he begins to unravel the identity of both victim and killer, and the meaning of the mysterious Plan D.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Simon Urban was born in Hagen in 1975. He studied German literature at the University of Munster, and creative writing at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig. His short stories have earned him numerous prizes. He lives in Hamburg and Techau (East Holstein) and currently works as a copywriter for a leading German creative agency. His novel Plan D has been translated into 11 languages.

About the Translator

After studying German at Birmingham University Katy Derbyshire continued her education at the University of London and attained a Diploma in Translation there in 2001. In 1996 she moved to Berlin where she worked in various jobs including teaching English. Since 2002 she has worked as a freelance translator of German into English and she founded the blog called love german books.

Librarian’s Comments

In Simon Urban’s dystopian crime novel the German reunion never took place and the Berlin Wall is still standing. The setting is East Berlin in the year 2011, where we follow disillusioned detective Martin Wegener on his way through a swamp of corruption and betrayal in search for a murderer and a higher truth. The story is full of satirical details, brilliantly observed and highly gripping.

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