What are your secrets? What are you ashamed of? That’s the stuff of riveting fiction. Cambridge professor and acclaimed novelist Erich Ackerman, the protagonist of this taught and gripping novel, knows this much is true. In fact, they’re the very things that fuel his work. When Ackerman becomes enamored by a young aspiring writer Maurice Swift in Berlin, the city of his childhood, he should know better than to reveal the darkest parts of his personal history—a secret past in Hitler’s Germany. Shouldn’t a writer know that “everything is copy” as Nora Ephron famously once said? This novel is as craftily written as Swift himself, whose cunning only intensifies as his life ascends as the expense of his mentor’s.