Ten minutes to midnight: a pious Friday evening in May and a fine river mist lying in the market square. Bonn was a Balkan city, stained and secret, drawn over with tramwire. Bonn was a dark house where someone had died, a house draped in Catholic black and guarded by policemen. Their leather coats glistened in the lamplight, the black flags hung over them like birds. It was as if all but they had heard the alarm and fled. Now a car, now a pedestrian hurried past, and the silence followed like a wake. A tram sounded, but far away. In the grocer's shop, from a pyramid of tins, the handwritten notice advertised the emergency: Lay In Your Store Now! Among the crumbs, marzipan pigs like hairless mice proclaimed the forgotten Saint's Day.
-John le Carre, A Small Town In Germany