A Question of Time

A Cold War Spy Thriller

James Stejskal

The CIA's most valuable spy has been compromised. Only an unconventional secret Army unit has any chance of safely extracting him from East Berlin. The Cold War is about to turn hot.
Publication date:
January 2021
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Series :
The Snake Eater Chronicles
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612009032

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
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• Fast-paced novel set in the cross-section of intelligence and secret military units in Cold War Berlin
• Written by an author who served in Special Forces and the CIA for nearly four decades.
• Stejskal's almost unparalleled understanding of undercover and intelligence work means these novels will appeal to anyone with an interest in military, intelligence or conflict history.
• "More than a good story, this tale is action packed yet firmly grounded in the real history of the Cold War. A Question of Time will grab you, immerse you in the times, and leave you ready for more.”—Lieutenant General Charlie Cleveland, Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Command

Berlin, 1979. When the CIA's most valuable spy is compromised, the Agency realizes it does not have the capability to bring him to safety. If he cannot evade the dreaded East German security service, the result will be chaos and a cascade of failures throughout the Agency's worldwide operations.

Master Sergeant Kim Becker lived through the hell of Vietnam as a member of the elite Studies and Operations Group. When he lost one of his best men in a pointless operation, he began to question his mission. Now, he is serving with an even more secretive Army Special Forces unit based in Berlin on the front line of the Cold War.

The CIA turns to Becker's team of unconventional warfare specialists to pull their bacon out of the fire. Becker and his men must devise a plan to get him out by whatever means possible. It's a race against time to prepare and execute the plan while, alone in East Berlin, the agent must avoid his nemesis and play for time inside the hostile secret service headquarters he has betrayed.

One question remains — is the man worth the risk?


Stejskal brings a lively new twist to a familiar area… an intriguing debut… the tradecraft and operational planning are well-drawn and Stejskal takes us into the heart of the American spy set-up in Berlin… The plot feels authentic and Berlin is vividly detailed, right down to the Stasi's secret door in the Wall.
Financial Times

…the author is certainly qualified to write about the military, espionage and counter-terrorism […] This familiarity with weaponry, spy procedures and dynamics are evident in the writing. This man knows his Glocks and/or sabotage devices, and this adds a convincing layer to the story.
Historical Novels Review

The action is described with just enough detail to make it believable and not so much that the story bogs down. The writing is clear and compelling and doesn't get in the way of the telling.
Crime Fiction Lover

Fiction that reads like fact. Boots on the ground, real-life drama, rich with details only an insider could write… an outstanding book.
John Stryker Meyer, MACV SOG Veteran and Author of Across The Fence: The Secret War in Vietnam

The tale Mr. Stejskal, a veteran of the US Army Special Forces, has woven is a taut, fast-moving, totally-plausible story of inter-agency cooperation at its finest. This is an excellent work of fiction. It is a story about a secret US Army Special Forces unit in Berlin that served throughout the Cold War, a unit that would have probably been wiped out if the Cold War had turned hot. The book is well-crafted, pays attention to detail, and gives long overdue credit to the men and women who were the tip of spear behind enemy lines in East Germany. Put this on your 'must read' list
Barry Broman, Former CIA Chief of Station, author of "Risk Taker, Spy Maker: Tales of a CIA Case Officer

...a good read - action packed and evoking the atmosphere of the times.
Army Rumour Service

A thrilling, riveting, and whip-smart novel that feels as though you are being served a slice of Cold War military history.
Love Reading

What's true and what's fiction? Former Special Forces Berlin soldier James Stejskal places you in a tense and thrilling story of a US Special Forces mission to East Germany.
Cold War Conversations Podcast

James Stejskal's A Question of Time will grab you, immerse you in the times, and leave you ready for the next installment.
LTG Charles Cleveland (US Army Retired) Commander

A Question of Time combines the intrigue of le Carré and the story-telling ability of Forsyth with the authenticity of Chris Ryan. An excellent cold-war thriller.
Matt Johnson, CWA Dagger nominated author, ex-soldier, Patron of Forces Online, and Co-chair Crime Cymru