New York Station

Written by Lawrence Dudley
Review by Bryan Dumas

Roy Hawkins is an Anglo-American working for MI6 in Paris as the city is overrun by the Nazis. Desperate to remain and fight the Germans with the underground, Hawkins receives orders that he’s to ship out and report for his new assignment in neutral America.

In New York, Hawkins is tasked with finding the spy who is leaking shipping information to the Nazis waiting offshore in their U-Boats. Quickly, this assignment plunges Hawkins into a deeper threat to America, and ultimately the world. Hawkins discovers that the isolationist and pro-Nazi radio host Walter Ventnor is behind an attempt by the Nazis and their agent Dr. Hans Ludwig to turn the American election and derail FDR’s attempt at a third term. The hope is to get the Democrats to install a pro-neutrality president in office. As the investigation moves forward, taking Hawkins from New York to Saratoga and the famous horse track, Hawkins meets and eventually falls in love with a young heiress, Daisy van Schenck, who ends up as Hawkins’ own secret agent and introduces him to the dark side of America’s wealthy elite.

Dudley builds a fast-paced political thriller full of intrigue, with a mysterious and resourceful female lead, and just enough twists to keep the reader honest. Based in part on actual events—which Dudley explores in the acknowledgement—New York Station is written in short, quick chapters perfect for a robust political thriller. Hawkins’ inner monologues sometimes bog the story down and the foreign dialog, often without translation, can make for frustrating reading. But the timeliness of the plot (foreign intervention in elections) and the complex story make this a worthy read.