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
“A suspense-filled tale, Dark Invasion uncovers a fascinating corner of history when courageous New York City police officers fought insurmountable odds to defend America against sophisticated German saboteurs at the start of World War I.” Ronald Kessler, author of < i=""> The Secrets of the FBI <> and < i=""> In the President's Secret Service <>
“In his gripping and expertly crafted narrative, Blum demonstrates that the best stories are true. Told in the great tradition of spy thrillers, Dark Invasion is the startling tale of German secret agents operating in the United States.” Scott Miller, author of < i=""> The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century <>
“I read Dark Invasion without stopping. It is a well-researched and exceedingly well-written account of a pre-World War I series of terroristic attacks on the United States, in this case perpetrated by Germans. It is full of good stories and characters.” Norman Stone, award-winning author of < i=""> The Eastern Front: 1914-1917 <> and < i=""> World War One: A Short History <>
“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
“...throws light on the war of espionage and terror Germany waged against the U.S. in 1915.” < em=""> Vanity Fair < m="">
“Sounds like a pretty good espionage thriller…In fact, its nothing less than authenticalbeit long-forgottenAmerican history, brought to vivid life…Dark Invasion reminds us…that ‘the past is never past.” < em=""> Life.com < m="">
“Blum…writes a gripping epic of a sordid terror plot and murder most foul …. [He[ makes great use of short chapters and episodic shifts that both prevent tedium and compel the reader forward through each twist and turn.” < em=""> Library Journal < m=""> (starred review)
“wonderfully gripping…cleverly crafted tension.” < em=""> Washington Post < m="">
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 is the author of the New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award winner American Lightning, as well as Wanted!, The Gold Exodus, Gangland, and, most recently, The Floor of Heaven. Blum is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. While at the New York Times, he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He lives in Connecticut and is the father of three children.