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Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in Americaby Howard Blum
Synopses & Reviews
What happens when German spies collaborate to unleash a campaign of terror upon America at the start of World War I?
In the summer of 1914, New York Police Department captain Tom Tunney is preoccupied by Manhattan's raging gang rivalries and has little idea that, halfway around the world, a much more ominous threat to the city is brewing. As Germany teeters on the brink of war, its ambassador to the United States is given instructions to find and finance a team of undercover saboteurs who can bring America to its knees before it has a chance to enter the conflict on the side of the Allies.
At the page-turning pace of a spy thriller, Dark Invasion tells the remarkable true story of Tunney and his pivotal role in discovering, and delivering to justice, a ruthless ring of German terrorists determined to annihilate the United States. Overwhelmed and undermatched, Tunney's small squad of cops was the David to Germany's Goliath, the operatives of which included military officers, a germ warfare expert, a gifted Harvard professor, a bomb technician, and a document forger. As explosions leveled munitions plants and destroyed cargo ships, particularly in and around New York City, panicked officials talked about rogue activists and anarchists — but it was Tunney who suspected that these incidents were part of something bigger and became determined to bring down the culprits.
Through meticulous research, Blum deftly reconstructs an enthralling, vividly detailed saga of subterfuge and bravery. Enhanced by more than fifty images sourced from global archives, his gritty, energetic narrative follows the German spies — with Tunney hot on their heels — from the streets, harbors, and warehouses of New York City to the genteel quads of Harvard, the grand estates of industry tycoons, and the steps of the U.S. Capitol. The New York Police Department's breathtaking efforts to unravel the extent of the German plot and close in on its perpetrators are revealed in this riveting account of America's first encounter with a national security threat unlike any other — the threat of terrorism — that is more relevant now than ever.
“Dark Invasion is a must-read for lovers of suspense and anyone who wants to understand how the basis of our homeland security system was born.” Tom Reiss, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Count and The Orientalist
“Terrifically engaging and pertinent tale of the New York City bomb squad that foiled German terrorist plots against the United States at the outbreak of World War I.…Instructive, yes, but also as engrossing as good detective fiction.” Kirkus Reviews(starred review)
“Blum's narrative of America's first exercise in homeland security is a worthwhile page-turner, combining the best features of a police procedural and a spy novel with a firm base in verifiable events.” Publishers Weekly
Combining the pulsating drive of Showtime's Homeland with the fascinating historical detail of such of narrative nonfiction bestsellers as Double Cross and In the Garden of Beasts, Dark Invasion is Howard Blum's gritty, high-energy true-life tale of German espionage and terror on American soil during World War I, and the NYPD Inspector who helped uncover the plot — the basis for the film to be produced by and starring Bradley Cooper.
When a “neutral” United States becomes a trading partner for the Allies early in World War I, the Germans implement a secret plan to strike back. A team of saboteurs — including an expert on germ warfare, a Harvard professor, and a brilliant, debonair spymaster — devise a series of “mysterious accidents” using explosives and biological weapons, to bring down vital targets such as ships, factories, livestock, and even captains of industry like J. P. Morgan.
New York Police Inspector Tom Tunney, head of the departments Bomb Squad, is assigned the difficult mission of stopping them. Assembling a team of loyal operatives, the cunning Irish cop hunts for the conspirators among a population of more than eight million Germans. But the deeper he finds himself in this labyrinth of deception, the more Tunney realizes that the enemy's plan is far more complex and more dangerous than he suspected.
Full of drama and intensity, illustrated with eight pages of black and-white photos, Dark Invasion is riveting war thriller that chillingly echoes our own time.
About the Author
Howard Blum, an award-winning former reporter for the New York Times and currently a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, is the author of several bestselling non-fiction books, including The Brigade, The Gold of Exodus, Gangland, and Wanted! The Brigade is being made into a major motion picture by Miramax Films.
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