Countdown to Terror
By David Holman
A cold breaking dawn by the River Thames and a tugboat operator sees a man on the bank being beaten by two other men.
After going to him, the victim’s last words to him before dying are ‘the eagle will fall.’
In the dead man’s pocket is the name of Alex Swan, former MI5 officer, and now with the Ministry of Defence Services Investigations Department.
It’s 1969, and there is a race to the Moon.
Simon and Garfunkel are on the radio and in the bookshops are bestsellers by Len Deighton and Graham Greene. World War Two is long over, and Hitler long dead, but not for a group of loyal ex-Nazis known as the Onyx Cross.
Swan and his ex-detective colleague, Arthur Gable, learn that the dead man was a German-born scientist working on the Black Arrow satellite launch vehicle program at Highdown on the Isle of Wight.
Although they have no idea as to what his dying words could mean. The nature of the case has also resurfaced a dark secret that Swan has kept hidden away since the end of the war.
At Highdown following a test firing, the Deputy Chief Engineer Kevin Powell is found dead, boiled inside his protective suit under the rocket and Swan suspects that their deaths could be connected.
Meanwhile, Gunther Fleischer, a former Nazi known as Merlin, has had his Onyx Cross operatives sabotaging space programs from the inside.
As the war in Europe came to an end, Operation Falling Star was implemented by the German High Command. Scientists were to be killed, rather than have their knowledge fall into the hands of the US and her allies.
Countdown to Terror is a fast-paced, action-packed mystery thriller set against the backdrop of the space race, and the search for Nazis seeking revenge for the theft of their scientific and engineering technology by the Allies.
David Holman is an aviation enthusiast. He has used his vast knowledge as a published magazine writer and worked them into an exciting and gripping mystery that is in the true tradition of both the classic Cold War spy story and the absorbing political thriller genre. David Holman lives in Kent, England with his wife and three daughters and is a lecturer of English Language. He also regularly writes aviation related articles for an international hobby magazine and is a reporter for his local newspaper. When he is not writing, David enjoys spending time with his family and walking his dogs in the countryside near his home.