Endangered Eagle

A Karl von Ernst Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
326 Pages
Reviewed on 02/23/2012
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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 Debra Gaynor for Readers' Favorite

Richard Roth offers readers a well-researched fictional mystery based on actual events and characters. In his amazing book "Endangered Eagle" readers are transported back in time to Germany prior to WWII. The 1936 Olympics was taking place in Berlin. Jesse Owens made the United States proud by winning 4 gold medals in track and field.

General Hermann Wilhelm Goering invites Colonel Charles Lindbergh, the honored hero who flew solo from New York to Paris, to visit the Olympics. Shortly before Lindbergh arrived in Berlin, a plot to murder him by a crime ring was discovered. General Goering engaged Karl von Ernst to investigate and hence begins this great mystery. Von Ernst is both our main character and our narrator. Even with his massive credentials he faces danger at every turn.

While Roth has provided readers with an excellent mystery, one of the things that stood out to me was how he captures the ambiance of the era. If history was taught in school in the same exciting and interesting manner as this book succeeds in doing, our students would be listening and learning more. It is obvious that Roth spent much time researching for this book. He brings history to life. Roth has a talent for taking his research and molding it into a plot that is sure to captivate the attention of readers. This book is well-organized and keeps the readers’ attention to the very last page. He has even included twists, turns and a surprising ending. I suspect Mr. Roth has a best seller on his hands and it would not surprise me if a movie deal is in his future.

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.