May, 1946. America is basking in hard-won peace and prosperity. The OSS has been disbanded, CIA does not yet exist. Rumors swirl about the Red Army massing tanks along the Elbe in East Germany.
Former OSS agent Hal Schroeder gets an offer from Global Commerce LTD to be a trade rep in Berlin. He flies to New York to meet his new boss. Hal’s jaw drops when former OSS Chief Wild Bill Donovan strides in. Schroeder, who survived perilous duty behind German lines, says he 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.
“Sir, my special kind of cunning is real simple,” I said to my case officer. “I was doing a decent job in Freiburg and Ulm and Karlsruhe logging troop movements and transmitting weather reports for bomber runs. I figured if I was dead my effectiveness might suffer. And why get croaked carrying out suicide missions dictated by some asshole Case Officer who was snug as a bug in Bern drinking Allen Dulles’ wine cellar dry?”
“I wasn’t,” said Jacobson, “but please continue.”
Please continue? They were shorthanded.
Where did you get inspiration for your book?
I decided to write this trilogy because I thought there might be fertile ground in trying to merge my two favorite genres, the hardboiled mystery and the spy thriller. How would private investigator Phillip Marlowe have fared as an espionage agent, in other words.
About the Author
John Knoerle was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1949 and migrated to California with his family in the 1960s. He has worked as a stand-up comic, a voiceover actor and a radio reporter. He wrote the screenplay for “Quiet Fire,” which starred Karen Black and Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, and the stage play “The He-Man Woman Hater’s Club,” an LA Time’s Critics Choice. John also worked as a writer for Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Knoerle’s first novel, Crystal Meth Cowboys, published in 2003, was optioned by Fox TV. His second novel, The Violin Player,won the Mayhaven Award for Fiction. Knoerle is currently at work on The American Spy Trilogy. Book One, A Pure Double Cross, came out in 2008. Book Two, A Despicable Profession, was published in August of 2010.
John Knoerle currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Judie.
You can visit his website at www.bluesteelpress.com.