Title: The Hapsburg Variation
Series: Cold War Thriller #2
Author: Bill Rapp
Publisher: Coffeetown Press
Publication Date: December 1, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Historical, Thriller
Eight years into his career with the CIA, Karl Baier once again
finds himself on the front line of the Cold War. He is stationed in
Vienna in the spring of 1955 as Austria and the four Allied Powers
are set to sign the State Treaty, which will return Austria’s independence,
end the country’s post-war occupation, and hopefully reduce tensions
in the heart of Europe. But the Treaty will also establish Austrian
neutrality, and many in the West fear it will secure Soviet
hegemony in Eastern Europe and create a permanent division.
Asked to help investigate the death of an Austrian aristocrat and Wehrmacht
veteran, Baier discovers an ambitious plan not only to block the State Treaty,
but also to subvert Soviet rule in lands of the old Hapsburg Empire. Then
Baier’s wife is kidnapped, and the mission becomes intensely personal.
Many of his basic assumptions are challenged, and he discovers that he cannot
count on loyalties, even back home in Washington, D.C. At each maddening
turn in the investigation, another layer must be peeled away.
Even if Baier succeeds in rescuing his wife, he faces the unenviable task
of unraveling an intricate web of intrigue that reaches far back
into the complicated history of Central Europe.
About the Author
Bill Rapp worked at the CIA for thirty-five years as an analyst, diplomat, and senior manager. He taught European History at Iowa State University for a year before joining the CIA. His career has taken him around the world, including to Berlin as the Wall fell and Germany was reunified. In addition to his Karl Baier novels, Rapp previously published a three-book detective series set outside Chicago with P.I. Bill Habermann, as well as a stand-alone thriller set during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Bill lives in northern Virginia with his wife, two daughters, two miniature schnauzers, and a cat. His website is BillRappsBooks.com.
“The Hapsburg Variation is a rock-solid espionage tale that will
hook you from page one. This is the rare thriller, set at the leading
edge of the Cold War, that’s so totally authentic you are immersed
in the atmosphere of the times and you might expect a young
George Smiley to pop in at any moment. A great story that keeps you
on the razor’s edge of tension right to the end. The book’s hero,
Karl Baier, is the most fascinating character of his type since
Len Deighton’s unnamed agent in Funeral in Berlin—a man you’ll
relate to even if his story takes place before you were born.”
—Austin S. Camacho, author of the Hannibal Jones Mystery Series
“An entertaining read […] imbued with history and the
global politics of the 1950s.” —The New York Journal of Books