The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Chad Millman

Narrated By: Lloyd James

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: August 2006

Duration: 10 hours 4 minutes

Summary:

A tale of terrorism, espionage, and an epic struggle for justice in an America on the verge-sparked by a massive and mysterious explosion in New York Harbor in 1916.

In 1916, while the Allied and Central forces waged war in Europe, a group of German saboteurs blew up Black Tom Island, a spit of land in New York Harbor within earshot of downtown Manhattan. The subsequent hail of missiles and gunpowder devastated much of lower Manhattan. The attack-so massive that as far away as Maryland people could feel the ground shake-had been shockingly easy. America was littered with networks of German agents, hiding in full daylight, an enemy within plotting further, deadlier attacks. All the way up to the president, officials had known something like this could happen, and yet nothing had been done.

Twenty years later, the German government had still managed to evade responsibility for the crime-and probably would have continued to, were it not for the determination of three lawyers named McCloy, Peaslee, and Martin. These men-most crucially the young John McCloy-made it their mission to solve a mystery that began during the first World War and barely ended before the second. The Detonators is a fascinating portrait of these men and their time, an era in which the rising American establishment engaged the world. It is also the dramatic love story of John and Ellen McCloy, and the first full accounting of a crime and a cover-up that resonates strongly in a post-9/11 America.

Genres:

  • Donald Sanborn

    The first part of the book, leading up to the explosion, is very good. The second part, however, gets bogged down in endless lawyer tales as well as boring details about the private lives of the characters. The author lack balance, as well, in failing to point out the outrageous British violations of neutrality, truth, and common decency.

  • Anonymous

    The book lacked focus. Parts kept my attention to the point I stayed in my car to hear what happened next, but more often than not, I found myself asking why is the author yet again developing another character only to leave me wondering what happened to the character just developed. Take a pass on this book.

  • tom

    Started pretty slow and stayed that way. Did not listen to all 10 discs. History was a little too clinical and jumped around with a lot of different characters....for real history buffs only.

  • Benedetta Lambert

    This book gives a very good picture of German espionage in the US prior to WWI. Students don't learn this stuff in school because schools don't want to offend groups. It was fascinating to hear of the extent & sophistication of German spying in this country.