New York Station
A World War II–era spy thriller with uncanny relevance to today’s real-life political intrigue.
In August 1940—eighteen months before Pearl Harbor—Anglo-American MI6 agent Roy Hawkins is mysteriously rushed from Nazi-occupied Paris to New York. Enraged at being ordered away from what he believes is the real fight against Nazism and Fascism, he wants to get back to Paris as soon as possible, even though he knows it means almost certain death.
In New York he is shocked and sickened to encounter a now alien America increasingly dominated by right-wing extremists, including a new radio celebrity, Walter Ventnor. After a tense encounter with his friend and mentor William Stephenson, he agrees to temporarily pursue a Nazi commercial envoy, Hans Ludwig, and try and stop him from stealing American submarine warfare secrets. Hawkins follows Lugwig to the elite Saratoga racing meeting, where Ludwig is cultivating top American business leaders. There he meets the scion of an ancient and aristocratic New York family, Daisy van Schenck. Fascinated by her after he persuades her to throw Ludwig out of her mansion, which Ludwig has rented, Hawkins finds himself increasingly attracted to Daisy and a different life. When Hawkins discovers a Nazi plot to rig the presidential election, he is forced to choose between duty and the woman he loves.
“A compelling World War Two–era novel which very quickly leads the reader into a world of espionage, drama, and intrigue. New York Station has an authentic feel and the angle of Nazi sympathizers in the USA feels very timely. The story works its way to a strong ending, with a great twist at the very end.” —Alex Gerlis, author of the bestselling The Best of Our Spies and other World War Two espionage novels
A multifaceted protagonist who's a refreshing change from formulaic genre leads lifts this gritty spy thriller from Dudley (St. Kilda). In 1940, Roy Hawkins, an American spy who has been working for the British in Paris, wants to help in the resistance against the Germans, who occupied the city in June, but his orders are to leave France. Hawkins is dispatched to New York City, where his chief of station enlists him to stop a traitor from sharing shipping schedules with the Germans that could be used to guide U-boat attacks. A more complex assignment soon follows. Radio host Walter Ventnor who refers to the Roosevelts as the Rosenfelds, preaches a focus on Fortress America, and spouts pro-Hitler propaganda has allied himself with Dr. Hans Ludwig, a representative of the Nazi government. Hawkins must make sure that Ludwig doesn't get his hands on a secret U.S. Navy system, sonar, which America has refused to sell to embattled Britain. Fans of Alan Furst and Joseph Kanon will find familiar pleasures.