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the prairies book review

The handsomely-crafted plot and a swift pace makes this historical thriller an engrossing read…

A devastating explosion at Black Tom Island in New York City opens Gordon’s richly detailed first installment in the Clash of the Patriots series set against the background of World War I. Dr. Harold Schwartz, the administrator of Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, is a German spy in disguise, working under his father’s command, a close friend of Kaiser Wilhelm and a dealer in lethal weapons, to keep Americans away from the war. The father-son duo are the masterminds behind German espionage activity wreaking havoc along the Eastern Seaboard and among steamships attempting to cross the Atlantic. When the British Secret Intelligence Service collaborates with American police and recruits New York City police detective Max Rothman to assemble the Bomb Squad, a team of German-speaking specialists, to probe into the sudden surge of German espionage activity, Schwartz’s mission falls in jeopardy. The stakes rise as the two patriots come face to face. But who will win the battle? Gordon skillfully blends the two different story lines, the one about the two patriots caught up in a drama of passion and loyalty and the other about aristocrats maneuvering for power at the uppermost levels. He has a good feel for the period as he skillfully evokes the Germania society with its deeply ingrained political convictions and illuminates the events of both individual lives and the political forces that characterized the tumultuous World War I era. Despite a large cast of characters, Gordon keeps them all clearly distinguishable: Max with his intelligence, integrity, courage and sensitivity makes for a worthy hero for the series; Harold surprises the reader with his gentle side; the members of the Bomb Squad are a nice bunch, and the reader will wait eagerly for their upcoming adventures; other characters are constructed nicely, though women in the story are somewhat brittle and mostly stay unremarkable. The pacing is fast with numerous plot twists and shocking revelations, and the action is plenty: conspiracy follows conspiracy, opportunistic aristocrats swipe loyalties, and dangerous secrets are unraveled. Espionage operations and political conspiracies add to the intrigue of the story whereas undercover spies, intimidating villains, and chivalrous heroes add further weight to the stellar cast. With its engrossing storyline and suspenseful plotting, the book will appeal equally to lovers of historical fiction and period action thrillers. Readers will wait eagerly for the next installment.

Note: This book is free on Kindle unlimited.

The Bomb Squad: Clash of the Patriots (Book One)

by Neil Perry Gordon


Pub date April 2, 2020


Price $4.07 (USD) Kindle edition, $13.99 Paperback

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