Endangered Eagle

A Karl von Ernst Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
326 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2017
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Author Biography

Richard Carl Roth spent his career in the Marketing, Advertising and Package Design business. Formally residing in New Jersey he currently lives just outside Hilton Head in South Carolina.

He approached the writing of Endangered Eagle, his first novel, with the intention of combining some of the elements of a historical non-fiction text with a fictional story line. The story as written is woven around people who actually lived, and events that actually occurred in Berlin in 1936.

Studying the history of Germany, from the end of the Great War through World War II, for over thirty years, he has visited a wide variety of locations significant to the study of Hitler’s Third Reich including Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, The Imperial War Museum in London and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

He has been a collector of Third Reich Militaria and has an extensive personal reference library of over 450 books including memoirs, diaries, biographies and treatises by people who were current to the period, and the works of a great many recognized historians who have covered various aspects of the Third Reich and its major players.

This library is supplemented with maps, films and newsreels as well as German, American, British and Canadian magazines, newspapers and catalogs that were published during this period.

He has drawn on all of these resources to produce this meticulously researched Historical

    Book Review

Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite

Endangered Eagle: A Karl von Ernst Mystery is a compelling work of historical fiction by writer Richard Carl Roth, set during a well-documented period in history. Berlin, 1936. Hitler and the Nazis have already instituted a reign of terror throughout Germany, but with Berlin about to host the Olympics, the Nazis are anxious to show the world a “New Germany.” Adding to the heightened excitement of the impending Olympics, it has been arranged that Charles Lindbergh – the first man to fly from New York to Paris – will visit Berlin during the Olympics as a special guest. Weeks prior to his visit, General Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, is advised of an assassination plot against the American hero. He gives Karl von Ernst, a former Chief Inspector in the Berlin police, the formidable task of identifying the mastermind behind the assassination plot and preventing at all costs what might otherwise be a public relations disaster for Hitler’s Germany.

Many books, both fiction and non-fiction, have been written dealing with, or set in, Nazi Germany and much of it has focused on the Holocaust – those who perished in it or managed to survive it. What is refreshing to see in Endangered Eagle is that although the setting for the book is during a time when the Nazis were already in power, the story focuses on the Berlin Olympics and the assassination plot of Charles Lindbergh. Both are story-worthy in their own right, but combining the two and setting them against a backdrop of Nazi Germany in 1936 and you’ve got the makings of one great story. Roth’s work is meticulously researched and lovingly scribed. The author does a bang-up job conveying time and place and his prose, although somewhat stilted, works perfectly in conveying German decorum and heightened paranoia throughout Berlin, thanks to the fear the Nazis have evoked in everyone. In this respect, Endangered Eagle sets the stage beautifully. The events as they unfold are compelling, heightening the intrigue before Roth throws his readers an unexpected curve ball near the end – making for a bang-up finish. For lovers of historical fiction dealing with the Nazi era or simply those who love intrigue, Endangered Eagle delivers on all fronts and is worth the read.

Fiona I.

Berlin, July 1936. Germany has risen to power with Hitler at the helm of the Third Reich. All eyes focus on Germany's political and military renaissance and it is imperative that Germany presents the right image to the world. The Summer Olympics will be held in Berlin, with the opening ceremony on 1 August, 1936. Hundreds of thousands of visitors will be there. In a well-timed publicity stunt, General Hermann Goering, Commander-in-chief of the German Air Force invites the famous American Colonel Charles Lindbergh, the `Lone Eagle,' to visit Germany. After the kidnapping and death of their baby son, the Lindberghs moved to England to escape the press. American intelligence would dearly love to see exactly how far Herr Hitler is with building his air power. No one has managed to get inside any of the Luftwaffe facilities yet. Col. Lindbergh would be the perfect pair of eyes. So, all systems are a go until German intelligence discovers a plot to assassinate the famous flyer on German soil. Not only would that cause an international furor, but also would severely discredit the "new" Germany. It is impossible to cancel Lindbergh's visit because that would imply the German security is defective.

General Goering turns to Karl von Ernst, a former Chief Inspector in the Berlin Police, to find the answer and stop the attempt on Lindbergh's life. Karl must unravel the plot, which includes an exiled Nazi group working out of Prague, Berlin's largest crime ring and a mystery man, who initiated the plan to kill Lindbergh. His investigations are hampered by the constant interference of Reinhard Heydrich, of the SS, the Nazi Party's infamous police force, and one of General Goering's chief rivals for power within the Nazi hierarchy. Karl must find out the when, where, and how of the assassination attempt and, most importantly, why anyone would want to kill Lindbergh.

The author magnificently portrays pre-World War II Germany. The wild scrambling for power within the German High Command, the internecine warfare between various political factions, the burgeoning criminal underworld with its own network of hierarchies and delineated `turfs' all serve to illuminate the world within which Karl von Ernst must do his job. There is a deep sense of the complete terror in which ordinary Germans lived in that era, with fear and suspicion pervading every aspect of life. Karl is a sterling character, seemingly incorruptible, and not afraid to stand by his principles. The author takes readers into Karl's head as he turns over every snippet of information, unravels threads, creates theories, and comes up against dead ends. Tension increases as precious time ticks by in a cat and mouse game, and still the perpetrator remains at large. Apart from distracting editing issues, this is a well-researched historical novel with much to satisfy fans of military history, mystery novels, and political thrillers.

Alice D.

The year is 1936 and the setting for this novel of intrigue is Nazi Germany. Famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne have been invited to visit Berlin right before the Summer Olympics. But a group of German dissidents, working with a major Berlin crime ring, plan to assassinate Colonel Lindbergh and hopefully begin the downfall of Hitler and the Third Reich. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they reoriented life and society and, as a result, Karl von Ernst, the main character in "Endangered Eagle", is forced off the Berlin Police force by Hermann Goering, but he creates a new career for himself as a private investigator. With this assassination threat brewing, Karl is called back into service by none other than Goering himself. Karl must now track down the men behind this potential assassination as well as deal with Reinhard Heydrich and the SS who decide to get involved in the case. Will Karl succeed before Lindbergh is gunned down in public?

Interweaving real historic personages such as Hermann Goering, Reinhard Heydrich and Charles Lindberg with numerous fictional characters, author Richard Roth has created a suspenseful novel which shows that, unlike modern day perceptions, Hilter and his Nazi party did face opposition. The plot line proceeds slowly but evenly to the book's last pages as suspense begins to mount as the Lindberghs arrive in Germany . Karl von Ernst, Bruno Wolff, Rudolf Gruner, Heinz Deitrich and all characters major and minor, are three dimensional and totally believable. "Endangered Eagle" is first rate historic fiction of a time in history than many will never forget.