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December 12, 2017
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Showing posts by: Bill Rapp click to see Bill Rapp's profile
Dec 7 2017 3:00pm

Spy Games: The Difficulty of Creating Suspense While Keeping Spy Fiction Realistic

I suppose it would be difficult to find someone at the Agency who would not find fault with most of the espionage fiction written today—or in the past for that matter. A major concern would revolve around the tradecraft in the books—especially the fascination with assassinations and gunplay—but also more basic things like counter-surveillance and asset handling. Moreover, the vast majority of people who work at the Agency do not correspond to the characters one encounters in most spy fiction, people who seem to carry far too much emotional baggage and nagging self-doubt. And then there are the damn cell phones, with the characters wandering the corridors endlessly chatting away into their phones or discussing highly classified operational matters on their open lines. That always generated laughter and head shaking among colleagues with whom I have worked. I mean, we're not even allowed to bring our cell phones inside the building, and it's recommended that you turn yours off as soon as you enter the compound!

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Nov 28 2017 12:00pm

Bill Rapp Excerpt: The Hapsburg Variation

Bill Rapp

The Hapsburg Variation by Bill Rapp is the second book in the Cold War Thriller series (available December 1, 2017).

Eight years into his career with the CIA, Karl Baier once again finds himself on the front line of the Cold War. He is stationed in Vienna in the spring of 1955 as Austria and the four Allied Powers are set to sign the State Treaty, which will return Austria's independence, end the country's postwar occupation, and hopefully reduce tensions in the heart of Europe. But the Treaty will also establish Austrian neutrality, and many in the West fear it will secure Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe and create a permanent division. Asked to help investigate the death of an Austrian aristocrat and Wehrmacht veteran, Baier discovers an ambitious plan not only to block the State Treaty, but also to subvert Soviet rule in lands of the old Hapsburg Empire. Then Baier's wife is kidnapped, and the mission becomes intensely personal. Many of his basic assumptions are challenged, and he discovers that he cannot count on loyalties, even back home in Washington, D.C. At each maddening turn in the investigation, another layer must be peeled away. Even if Baier succeeds in rescuing his wife, he faces the unenviable task of unraveling an intricate web of intrigue that reaches far back into the complicated history of Central Europe.

[Read an excerpt from The Hapsburg Variation...]