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.
Date Published :
November 2020
Publisher :
Series :
The Snake Eater Chronicles
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009032
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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"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

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?

About The Author

James Stejskal is a former US Army Special Forces soldier who served on special operations in many “interesting places” worldwide before retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. He was then recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to serve again as a senior Case Officer in Africa, Europe, and the Far East before finally retiring from active service. He is now a military historian and the author of Special Forces Berlin and Masters of Mayhem. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Wanda.


"A Question of Time takes us where few authors, soldiers, or citizens of any country have gone, deep behind enemy lines at the hottest moments of the Cold War. We are dropped into the world of an intelligence operation that even today is unknown to most of us. James Stejskal worked— and survived— in this world and returned with this story masterfully told. This is espionage at its page-turning best, rich with history, operational intrigue, and drama. Can’t wait for the next one.” 

- Doug Stanton, #1 New York Times best-selling author of 'Horse Soldiers'

"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 Novel Society

"Stejskal, who served 35 years with the U.S. Army Special Forces and the CIA, convincingly describes the mission’s progress, and does a good job building suspense even if the outcome is never in doubt. Fans of realistic espionage fiction will look forward to the sequel."

- Publishers Weekly

"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"

"Stejskal convincingly establishes the riskiness of the mission and its various ingenious stages, as well as the suspect-everyone mindset necessary for people living under such a difficult regime...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."

- CrimeFictionLover.com

Set in Berlin during the Cold War in the complicated period after America’s long war in Vietnam, James Stejskal’s A Question of Time is a heart pumping tale of a Special Forces mission behind the Iron Curtain and a delightful introduction to Master Sergeant Kim Becker and his “Support Detachment Berlin” Special Forces “A” Team. In an artful blending of the history of a real secret unit, one that combined the tradecraft of spies with the daring that can only come from a well-led Special Forces team, Jim reminds us of times eerily similar to our own.

- LTG Charlie Cleveland, Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Command

"A thrilling, riveting, and whip-smart novel that feels as though you are being served a slice of Cold War military history. A Question of Time is a fabulous start to a series that promises to deliver in spades and it comes with a whopping thumbs up..."

- LoveReading

"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"

"Enjoyed it."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

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