(Cara Walden Mystery, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Mystery
Budapest: 1956. Newlywed Cara Walden’s brother Zoltán has disappeared in the middle of the Hungarian revolution, harboring a deadly wartime secret. Will Cara or the Soviets find him first?
Cutting short her honeymoon in Paris to rescue a sibling she’s never met was not Cara’s idea, but her husband Jakub has a reckless streak, and she is too much in love to question his judgment. Together with her older brother Gray, they venture behind the Iron Curtain, seeking clues to Zoltán’s whereabouts among his circle of fellow dissidents, all victims of the recently overthrown Communist regime. One of them betrayed him, and Cara realizes that the investigation has put every person they’ve met at risk. Inadvertently, they’ve also unmasked a Russian spy, who is now tailing them in the hope that they will lead him to Zoltán.
The noir film of Graham Greene’s The Third Man inspires Lisa Lieberman’s historical thriller. Burning Cold features a compelling female protagonist who comes to know her own strength in the course of her adventures.
We were back in my brother’s room and it was well past midnight. Between the dancing, the late hour, and our fitful sleep the night before, Jakub and I were dead on our feet. We sat slumped together on one of the room’s narrow beds, struggling to keep our eyes open as Gray bounded about in his stocking feet, too keyed up to stay in one place. Alcohol made most people sleepy, but drinking, initially at least, had the opposite effect on my brother.
I stifled a yawn. “That explains Dr. Szabó’s desire to get rid of us so quickly.” The more I learned about Zoltán’s wife, the more she grew in my estimation. She would have put up with the surveillance to preserve her little refuge. She seemed prepared to go to any lengths to protect the children in her orphanage, which raised a new question in my mind: “What if Zoltán were there the whole time and she didn’t want us to know?”
“That makes no sense.” Gray plopped himself down on the opposite bed. “Why would she have been hiding him from us? We’re no threat to anyone.”
“Aren’t we, though?” I pursued. “József said they’ll go for the ringleaders first. She doesn’t want to lose him again, and can you blame her? If speaking English is enough to draw suspicion down on somebody, having your American relatives show up at your front door is bound to get you arrested.”
Jakub put his hands on my shoulders and pulled me in for a kiss. “Of course! If there’s an informer in the neighborhood, she’d have needed to be extra careful. Not only would it have been dangerous to be seen talking with us, but she wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know that Zoltán was injured.”
“Because that would be a dead giveaway that he’d been involved in the fighting,” I said, completing the thought.
“Do I get another kiss?”
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” said my husband, kissing the tip of his finger and running it down the bridge of my nose, “but it sounds to me as if you have something more in mind.”
I caught his finger and brought it into my mouth, feeling myself grow moist as I sucked it. Aware, too, from the change in his breathing, that Jakub was growing aroused.
“Go play in your own room, children,” said Gray with an indulgent smile. “I’m going to try and get some sleep.”
Lisa Lieberman is the author of the Cara Walden series of historical mysteries featuring blacklisted Hollywood people in exotic European locales. All the Wrong Places and Burning Cold are available from Passport Press in print and e-book.
Trained as a modern European cultural and intellectual historian, Lieberman abandoned a perfectly respectable academic career for the life of a vicarious adventurer through dangerous times and places. She has written extensively on postwar Europe and is the founder of the classic movie blog Deathless Prose. She now directs a nonprofit foundation dedicated to redressing racial and economic inequity in public elementary and secondary schools. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.
After dragging their three children all over Europe while they were growing up, Lisa and her husband are happily settled in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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