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The Great American Spy Novel Trilogy: Synopses

Spy Novel

American Spy Novel One: A Pure Double Cross

A Pure Double Cross

Cleveland, 1945. OSS spy Hal Schroeder returns from two harrowing years behind German lines. The horrors of war have left him bitter and cynical. He is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate the Cleveland mob, to conduct a series of escalating sting operations that target elusive crime boss Teddy Briggslavski, aka Mr. Big.

Hal signs on, planning to double cross the feds, pocket their front money and disappear. He struggles to walk the double cross tightrope between the G-men and the mobsters until the FBI gives him the final sting, a huge payroll heist.

Hal Schroeder goes to his long-sought meet with Mr. Big, confident he can turn the heist plan to his advantage and make off with a bundle. But he gets a very unpleasant surprise. Three very unpleasant surprises.

American Spy Novel Two: A Despicable Profession

A Despicable Profession

May, 1946. America is basking in hard-won peace and prosperity. The OSS has been disbanded, the CIA does not yet exist. Rumors swirl about the Red Army massing tanks along the Elbe River in East Germany.

Former OSS agent Hal Schroeder, swilling beer in his favorite Cleveland pub, is approached by a bald man in a brown suit. Would Mr. Schroeder entertain an offer to be a trade rep for Global Commerce LLC in Berlin?

Hal agrees and flies to New York to meet his new boss. His jaw drops when former OSS Chief Wild Bill Donovan strides in. Schroeder, who survived perilous duty behind German lines, is no longer interested in being a spy. General Donovan assures him that’s not part of his job description.

Hal comes to doubt that when he meets his immediate superior in Berlin. It’s Victor Jacobson, the case officer who sent him on repeated suicide missions in WWII.

American Spy Novel Three: The Proxy Assassin

The Proxy Assassin

October, 1948. Former OSS agent Hal Schroeder gets an invitation to Washington D.C. from Frank Wisner, who heads the CIA’s new covert ops division. Hal is whisked off to Wisner’s Maryland shore retreat and introduced to a brace of Romanian royals, including the scarily beautiful Princess Stela Varadja, a direct descendant of Vlad Tepes Draculea.

Then Wisner pops the question. Would Hal consider parachuting into a remote mountain camp to meet with the leader of a Romanian anti-Communist resistance group?

“I had already survived two suicide missions, a third did not appeal. But I told Frank Wisner I would need a few days to think about it. I had some sightseeing to do.”

As it turns out Hal Schroeder gets to do a lot more sightseeing than he bargained for. A journey that brings the American Spy Trilogy to a surprising, and emotional, conclusion.

© Copyright John Knoerle 2015