The Bomb Squad
Clash of the Patriots
By: Neil Perry Gordon
Narrated by: Frank Block
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
Release date: 06-08-20
Publisher: Neil Perry Gordon
Genre: Espionage Thriller, Historical Fiction, WWI
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.
At the stroke of midnight, a devastating explosion at Black Tom Island, an armaments depot, rocks New York City awake; and so begins this story of two patriots in World War I, each willing to put his life on the line in order to achieve a glorious victory for his cause.
Serving the Fatherland is Dr. Harold Schwartz, administrator of the prestigious Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital and a German spy. Along with his father, a dealer in lethal weapons and a lifelong friend of Kaiser Wilhelm, Schwartz is hell-bent on distracting the Americans from entering the war.
Meanwhile, the British Secret Intelligence Service recruits highly regarded New York City police detective Max Rothman to assemble a team of German-speaking specialists, known as the Bomb Squad. Their mission is to investigate the sudden surge of German espionage activity wreaking havoc along the Eastern Seaboard and among steamships attempting to cross the Atlantic.
The Bomb Squad follows these men’s exploits through an interconnecting tale of love, loss, friendship, and betrayal, stretching from American shores to the epicenter of German power during a time when the world is at war.
©2020 Neil Perry Gordon (P)2020 Neil Perry Gordon
In July 2016 an explosion rocked the Statute of Liberty. Germans exploded a munitions depot on Black Tom Island. Bombs began to destroy numerous locations, cargo, and steamships. New York City police detective Max Rothman is recruited to investigate. He pulls together a team of German-speaking specialists dubbed The Bomb Squad.
On the other side of the war, Dr. Harold Schwartz is a German spy working as the administrator at Ellis Island. There are those who suspect Harold’s father is working with the Germans, but they haven’t found proof yet that either Harold or his father are involved in the rising cigar bomb attacks.
Soon the Bomb Squad recovers funds intended for the German enemies. When Irish militants supporting the German cause are threatened, Max is surprised to discover opposition among his own friends.
Max develops a relationship with a young woman with whom he becomes engaged. The romance between them is sweet and gentle. Maria reveals a secret that sets Max and Maria off on a mission into Germany.
This story weaves an engaging intrigue with interesting history. I wasn’t really aware of the bombings in New York Harbor and had forgotten that German immigrants were interned on Ellis Island during WW1. The author reflects the entanglement of the Jewish, Irish, and German communities in America and also reflects the involvement of European countries as Max and Maria travel to Germany.
The characters seemed reasonably developed and the plot moves at a good pace with a few twists. There was some suspension of reality in the second half of the story as Max and Maria travel through Europe to sneak into Germany. They make their presence known and seem to think they will manage their mission with no consequences. There is an unexpected twist that brings the characters back to New York for an intense conclusion. I recommend this to readers who like WWI historical fiction.
Audio Notes: Frank Block does a good job with the narration. He manages the varied accents and voices with appropriate emphasis. I am glad I got to listen to this book.
Source: 6/28/2020 Audible Code from the Author. This qualifies for 2020Audiobook goal.