The Acorn Dossier, a post Cold War thriller (2009)
During the Cold War, the KGB slipped highly trained operatives into the West, including the US, to make detailed plans to sabotage key facilities in case the Cold War suddenly turned hot. They also buried secret caches of weapons, including explosives, silenced pistols, radios, maps and local currency, for use if such missions were suddenly activated.
Also during the Cold War, the KGB directed their weaponeers to build 132 small but potent nuclear suitcase bombs. Only 48 remain in the Russian nuclear arsenal. That means that 84 are unaccounted for. It is rumored that some of them were included in the secret weapons caches in the US. That’s where The Acorn Dossier starts. A renegade Russian general, whose specialty was in bloody covert missions abroad for the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence arm, and who nurses a bitter hatred of the United States, decides to try to locate some of these nuclear suitcase bombs and threaten to detonate them in US cities unless paid a huge ransom. He recruits a team of tough ex-Soviet commandos to help him carry out his plot.
Among other key characters in the novel are:
–A former Oklahoma City call girl who becomes a wealthy, well respected cultural leader in St. Louis;
–Her husband, a long-time Soviet sleeper agent, who builds a very successful trucking business and who grows to love the US, but who is coerced into abetting the plot;
–A leading Washington attorney who had a torrid affair with the call girl as a young Army second lieutenant and to whom she turns in panic when she accidentally overhears a suspicious phone conversation between the Russian general and her husband;
–A Russian intelligence officer who leads a team dispatched from Moscow to find and thwart the general’s scheme before it is too late;
–And a senior FBI agent, who earlier in his career had served as a Special Forces officer on highly sensitive covert missions abroad, and who heads the US hunter-killer team directed to find and neutralize the general before he can potentially trigger a nuclear exchange between the two nations.
An email from a former Under Secretary of State: “Read you novel in one sitting–could not put it down.”
Having received a new book from a historian friend, I sent him my novel. To which he subsequently emailed: “Loved the book I put it down only for dire necessities.”
–David Andelman, a former correspondent for the New York Times and CBS, wrote a rave review which he put on the blog of the World Policy Journal, of which he is now the editor. Called the book “riveting,” an “entirely new genre of spy caper,” and a “delight” to read.