The Berlin Package
Film producer Pero Baltazar thought he was taking a Berlin filming assignment. He needed the work, needed to get back in the saddle after fighting off a life-threatening experience in East Africa—alShabaab had attacked his crew, intent on a much larger terrorist attack. Suddenly he finds himself under orders from his part-time employers at the State Department and the CIA when he is handed a mysterious package. It’s an assignment he doesn't want. The problem is, it’s a job contracted by mysterious patrons who are prepared to kill him if he doesn't deliver.
Pero—now in far too deep—turns to friends, old and new, to help him unravel the mystery of the package, uncover connections to Nazi concentration camp gold recently sold by the US Treasury, and thwart the ex–Stasi chief, now head of a powerful banking group.
In this fast-paced sequel to Murder on Safari, Pero calls on Mbuno, his friend and East African safari guide, to anticipate the moves of his enemies as if they were animals—dangerous vermin—who have kidnapped both the film star and director. Mbuno’s tracking skills may keep them from getting killed—provided Pero can rope in more help and keep the CIA at bay.
Exhilarating and expertly crafted, The Berlin Package (Yucca Publishing; April 2016) is a gripping, page-turning thriller set in post–German reunification Europe.
About the Author
Peter Riva has spent many months over 30 years travelling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books. He lives in Gila, New Mexico.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, pets, fun facts? Tea or coffee?
Hi Emily. Well, tea, milk and sugar for me. The trick in Germany is to ask for “kalt milch, nich raum” as they always seem to want to give you cream with your tea. On the other hand, “schwartz tee” is usually Assam, which is better than diner Lipton’s Orange Pekoe we get here.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Trains, that train from Berlin to Paris – I have taken it several times, first way back in ’66 or ’67, the Russian cars came from Moscow and the sleeping cars were as I describe them (and still were in the early part of this century too). What was even more fun, was the dining car that had a potbelly stove in the middle, fantastic Polish beer, standing tables only with stools, a layer of cheap cigarette smoke cloud hovering above one’s head. And there was always the “little mother” to keep all the tough men in line.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Almost everything is gleaned from what is a personal experience, what was learned from other experts (especially nuclear stuff) or what I know all too well from my own past – then ladle imagination on top. The CERN descriptions were taken from my time there as a student when we toured the facility.
What inspired you to write this book?
Heck, it’s fun to interweave one’s own life’s travels and experiences into a yarn, hopefully page-turning. The film people are all taken from people I know or worked with and then there are my impressions of the old thugs – Stasi – that have caused me and friends serious problems over the years – happy to have a chance to write the truth about many of them.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced you in any way either as a child or an adult?
Anything from Robert Louis Stevenson. He wrote from his experience in travels and used his wonderful imagination to hold me spellbound.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write what you know, what you learn, and then let fly from there.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or readers?
Try and remember that when you hear that a movement or ideology is dead, it often is only in hiding. My grandmother’s grave in Berlin has been regularly desecrated with Nazi symbols or slogans over the past 25 years. The reporters from the BBC or Deutsche Welle call me up and ask me for a comment on how terrible it is. My response? “Marlene continues to fight on against the Nazi’s of this world. Every time they daub her tombstone with their swastika they are coming out of the closet and proving that the danger is always there. She’s still fighting the good fight. So? I am actually proud of her.”