Dark Invasion (Hardcover)

1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America

By Howard Blum

Harper, 9780062307552, 496pp.

Publication Date: February 11, 2014

List Price: 27.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Combining the pulsating drive of Showtime's Homeland with the fascinating historical detail of such of narrative nonfiction bestsellers as Double Cross and In the Garden of Beasts, Dark Invasion is Howard Blum’s gritty, high-energy true-life tale of German espionage and terror on American soil during World War I, and the NYPD Inspector who helped uncover the plot—the basis for the film to be produced by and starring Bradley Cooper.

When a “neutral” United States becomes a trading partner for the Allies early in World War I, the Germans implement a secret plan to strike back. A team of saboteurs—including an expert on germ warfare, a Harvard professor, and a brilliant, debonair spymaster—devise a series of “mysterious accidents” using explosives and biological weapons, to bring down vital targets such as ships, factories, livestock, and even captains of industry like J. P. Morgan.

New York Police Inspector Tom Tunney, head of the department’s Bomb Squad, is assigned the difficult mission of stopping them. Assembling a team of loyal operatives, the cunning Irish cop hunts for the conspirators among a population of more than eight million Germans. But the deeper he finds himself in this labyrinth of deception, the more Tunney realizes that the enemy’s plan is far more complex and more dangerous than he suspected.

Full of drama and intensity, illustrated with eight pages of black and-white photos, Dark Invasion is riveting war thriller that chillingly echoes our own time.

About the Author

HOWARD BLUM is the Edgar Award-winning author of ten previous critically acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers. Formerly an award-winning "New York Times" reporter, he is now a Contributing Editor of "Vanity Fair." The father of three, he makes his home on a hilltop in Connecticut. DARK INVASION will be made into a feature film by Warner Bros., with Bradley Cooper starring as New York Police Captain Tom Tunney.

Praise For Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America

“Howard Blum’s riveting and perturbing Dark Invasion…is well-researched and written, and it maintains a fairly high level of suspense, which is difficult to bring off in a book about historical events.”

Dark Invasion…will move you to the edge of your seat with the facts alone, but the author’s suspenseful detective-mystery narrative is what keeps you there.”

“Wonderfully gripping…cleverly crafted tension.”

“Howard Blum’s story of the sinister and scary German terror attacks on America 100 years ago reads more like a LeCarré novel than a meticulous reconstruction of history.. This is a terrific spy story.”

Dark Invasion is a must-read for lovers of suspense and anyone who wants to understand how the basis of our homeland security system was born.”

“History is all about retelling tales that need telling. In Dark Invasion, Howard Blum has rescued a batch of compelling ones and woven them into grim, fascinating remembrance.”

“Throws light on the war of espionage and terror Germany waged against the U.S. in 1915.”

“Blum briefs us on early homeland security with tales of German terrorists, including military officers, a germ-warfare expert, a Harvard prof and a document forger.”

“a spy thriller of the first order….Dark Invasion is another page-turner that is compelling…. [Blum] has a remarkable talent for both uncovering history’s most inexplicably forgotten stories…and for writing non-fiction paced like a big-budget thriller.”

“Sounds like a pretty good espionage thriller…In fact, it’s nothing less than authentic—albeit long-forgotten—American history, brought to vivid life…Dark Invasion reminds us…that ‘the past is never past’.”

“Terrifically engaging and pertinent tale of the New York City bomb squad that foiled German terrorist plots against the United States at the outbreak of World War I.… Instructive, yes, but also as engrossing as good detective fiction.”

“Compelling … a grim, fascinating remembrance.”

“Blum’s narrative of America’s first exercise in homeland security is a worthwhile page-turner, combining the best features of a police procedural and a spy novel with a firm base in verifiable events.”

“A suspense-filled tale, Dark Invasion uncovers a fascinating corner of history when courageous New York City police officers fought insurmountable odds to defend America against sophisticated German saboteurs at the start of World War I.”

“In his gripping and expertly crafted narrative, Blum demonstrates that the best stories are true. Told in the great tradition of spy thrillers, Dark Invasion is the startling tale of German secret agents operating in the United States.”

“I read Dark Invasion without stopping. It is a well-researched and exceedingly well-written account of a pre-World War I series of terroristic attacks on the United States, in this case perpetrated by Germans. It is full of good stories and characters.”

“This is a wonderful story, with a cast of characters out of a Cecil B. DeMille epic, told in a style that is lucid, lyrical, even electric. Narrative history at its very best.”

“Howard Blum has given us a fascinating–and hugely entertaining–glimpse into early 20th-century America.…And–eat your hearts out, novelists–it’s all true.”

“Blum…writes a gripping epic of a sordid terror plot and murder most foul …. [He[ makes great use of short chapters and episodic shifts that both prevent tedium and compel the reader forward through each twist and turn.”

“The author’s eye for scene-setting and subtle explication perfectly mimics a Griffith-style camera. Blum is at his best…. Unfailingly entertaining.”

Coverage from NPR