Strangers on a Bridge by James B Donovan

This is the true story behind the film Bridge of Spies and was written by James Donovan, the lawyer and communicator for the Russian spy Rudolf Abel. It tells how Donovan came to represent, empathise and fight for the release or repatriation of Abel. Abel was eventually exchanged for Powers an American U2 pilot caught in Russia and Frederic Pryor an American student trapped in East Germany.

This was a maverick choice and although not the sort of book I would have chosen for myself I thought I really needed to give it a chance before I could discard it. I am so glad I did as I found the story very engaging and I am happy I have read it. The trials, as Donovan kept trying various methods to get Abel released as he felt he had been unfairly trapped and evidence incorrectly handled, were interesting but the time Abel spent in prison showed him to be a highly educated and artistic man. I felt Donovan was very sincere in all his efforts and the time he spent in Germany trying to get Abel exchanged for the two men was highly detailed and fascinating.

I would recommend this as a personal and a group read as there is so much to discuss. Even if it is not the type of book that appeals to you personally I believe you will be caught up in this fascinating and true book.

Debbie Mika
Personal 4
Group 5

Strangers on a Bridge by James Donovan
978-1405924900|Penguin pbk Sept 2015

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I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries 1933-1941

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