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Critical Praise

"Hillhouse's gripping debut, a cold war thriller, has so many unexpected pleasures.... The book may be better for its two strong women and its incisive picture of a significant era in recent history than for its thriller elements, but Hillhouse is a welcome new voice. The zing of true-to-life adventures plus big name blurbs (DeMille, Cussler, Gerritsen, etc.) might make this a hit."

——Publishers Weekly

"This flashy first novel was written by Raelynn Hillhouse, who says she ran contraband (rum and the like) in East and West Berlin from 1983 to 1989. A Bonding experience : the story is slick and suspenseful: the heroine makes like a female 007 when she's caught up in a plot to assassinate Mikhail Gorbachev."


"Hillhouse shows a firm grasp of suspense and intrigue in her auspicious debut, a satisfying international thriller. Hillhouse keeps things rocketing forward with deft camerawork and a well-constructed plot, punctuated with plenty of high-octane action, including a nifty sequence involving pickled brains and an explosive episode that would be a bad choice for in-flight reading. Several gripping, border-crossing scenes are informed by the author's own background as a rum-runner and black marketeer. The characters are appealing. Expect this impressive iron-curtain thriller to attract a large readership, among which will be Martin Cruz Smith fans."


"The absolutely riveting scenes of escape and capture in her first thriller prove that Hillhouse might well be the next--and perhaps the last--excellent novelist to come in from the cold. Whitney's brutal interrogation to make sure she hasn't sold out the Stasi is one of the most believably painful scenes in spy literature."

——Chicago Tribune