Treason and Triumph

Treason and Triumph

by Bonnie Toews



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781403348692
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 08/28/2002
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.61(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Monday, April 26th, 1937

STATIC SCRATCHED THROUGH THE RADIO SPEAKER. And then, despite the background crackling, the listeners could hear a woman's voice--her words were barely intelligible:

"At four o'clock this afternoon, a lone bomber began the bloodiest day of the Spanish Civil War. In a surprise attack on Guernica, the Heinkel 51 hit the town square, the Julian Hotel and the rail station, where a reported 200 people were killed. They were waiting on the platform for the next train. For the past two hours, this small Basque village in the hills of Northern Spain has rocked under six air strikes by Germany's Condor Legion. I escaped. Many didn't.

"Of all the bodies I saw---some so mutilated their parts were strewn over jagged craters where buildings once stood---the death of one small boy stands out. I found him on a street littered with children's bodies. There was no visible injury to show how he died. He just lay there, as if he were asleep, clutching his fishing pole.

"Tonight, Guernica still burns. Churches, convents and monasteries abide here, not military targets, yet the most sacred symbol in Guernica---the Monastery of Augustine Fathers--lies in ruin. What does this Condor attack mean? Some observers believe that the Basques, an especially willful and proud people, are General Franco's test case. The Fascist theory is: if the Basques surrender to these terror tactics, all of Spain will give up, and the rules of war can be rewritten.

"On April 26th, 1937, history will record Guernica suffered the first air attack ever launched against unarmed civilians. But the bombings have not crushed the Basques' spirit as expected. Instead, a common hatred is uniting the people. Manuel Ortuz, the leader of the Basque resistance fighters, says this hatred is forging an iron will among the Basques to keep fighting or to die fighting but never to give up to the Fascists. As he tells it, 'Nobody but God can deprive us of freedom and the right to our homeland.'

"The rules of war are being rewritten, but not by the Fascists alone...I'm Marla Franklin reporting ON THE SPOT for the London Times."

Three men huddled around the fireplace in the host's library. They sat with their attention glued to the radio as the regular news program resumed broadcasting and listened in grim silence to one analyst after another assessing the Luftwaffe's bombing of Guernica. Finally, in disgust, Sir Isaac Malcolm rose from his seat and switched off the radio. A big Scotsman, he unconsciously licked the shaggy tips of the red bush drooping over his upper lip before speaking. "The fools still don't see it. Hitler is testing his total war strategy on the Basques."

"Surely broadcasts like this Franklin woman's will make Chamberlain listen to you now, Winston," said Lord James Rushmore. The softly featured, middle-aged man directed his remark to the paunchy figure hunched down in the Queen Anne chair closest to the fireplace.

Winston Churchill concentrated on the curl of smoke spiraling upwards from the chewed cigar he held in his pudgy hand. "It's not British people dying. It's Basques. Until Hitler is at our front door, he won't change his mind."

And then he jammed the cigar stub into his mouth and growled: "This woman we're listening you know her, Rufus?" asked Churchill, reverting to his code name for the wily Scotsman. Sir Isaac's droopy moustache reminded him of a cartoon character, a walrus, and in private, Churchill made a game of assigning secret soubriquets to his master spies.

"Aye, I do."

Churchill waited for him to explain. When Sir Isaac didn't say more, he pursed his lips. "The press is a crucial ally in our battle to win public support."

"Aye, Winston, we do indeed need the press on our side." The burly Scotsman recognized Churchill's mild rebuke and hastily continued. "That's why, when my people got advance knowledge that Hitler's strategists had picked Guernica to test his total war strategy, I sent Christopher Tobin to show Miss Franklin some of our secret intelligence. We have photos of a letter from Franco to Hitler asking for Germany's support and of forged passports that the German Military are using to smuggle troops and the Luftwaffe into Spain as tourists. She reacted as we expected. He promised her, if she went to Guernica, she would get a historic scoop, and she has."

"Of all the reporters covering Madrid, why choose her?"

"It was Tobin's decision. He felt hearing a woman describe such horror would intensify the public's reaction, and I agreed."

Lord James' eyes lit up. "Bloody clever, Isaac! Marla Franklin will turn public sentiment, and by year end, I'll wager we can make Winston prime minister."

Churchill shook his head emphatically. "No, James," he said. "It will take a major reversal to unseat Chamberlain."

Sir Isaac nodded. "Unfortunately, everything hinges on what Hitler does next. That is what will decide when we can assume the leadership of the country is Churchill's."

Lord James accepted Sir Isaac's assessment over Churchill's. Had the knighted Scotsman remained a private citizen in Aberdeen, Scotland, he might have been an extraordinary entrepreneur earning fortunes with the same skills he now used to organize their secret project.

Changing the subject, Churchill said, "We have a more pressing matter." He reached for a box of matches on the side table to relight his dead cigar. His cheeks ballooned with each drag, but the cigar remained unlit. In disgust, he ground the useless stub into the ashtray.

"Einstein says the Third Reich is capable of developing an atomic bomb. All that is holding them back is learning how to moderate the chain reaction once they split the atom. Gentlemen, if Hitler develops an atomic bomb before we do, I fear all free nations are doomed. We must quickly organize to stop him."

All of a sudden, from another part of the house, piano music distracted Churchill's attention. He cocked his head and jutted out his chin, listening. "Tschaikovsky's Concerto in B-Flat Minor." He frowned. "Do I hear two pianos?"

"Yes, Winston, you do."

Churchill's eyes narrowed, signaling he expected an explanation.

"Catherine is practicing for the Belvedere Festival in Vienna," Lord James told him, "and my wife is playing her orchestral accompaniment."

"Best damned secret you've kept from us, James. They're a talented pair. Isn't your wife related to the king?"

"Yes, Isabelle is a direct cousin, and a royal princess in her own right, on her father's side that is."

"So your daughter is his cousin too."

"A distant cousin actually."

"Close enough...close enough." Churchill repeated as his voice dropped, forcing each man to lean closer. "Just think of the reception Hitler would give a member of the royal family if she were to perform in Berlin."

Lord James stared in disbelief. Just as he was about to object, Churchill closed his eyes, dismissing further conversation, while the power of the music playing in the background punctuated his unspoken command.

What People are Saying About This

Harriet Klausner

A great story with dynamic and heroic characters within a fast-paced story...must reading for spy thriller fans.

Victoria Taylor Murray

Treason and Triumph by gifted storyteller Bonnie Toews is an amazing war time tale of patriotism, espionage, strength and courage.
— author of Thief of Hearts

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Treason and Triumph 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Treason and Triumph is one of those novels that sneaks up on you, tricks you with sly surprises, then hits you in the gut with a roundhouse punch. In the style of Ken Follet and Allen Furst, this WWII tale of intrigue, espionage, heroism, love, and betrayal has a cast of believable characters and a layered plot that will keep you guessing to the end. The discerning reader will also note that Ms. Toews has done her homework. The WWII locales, events, and historical figures are drawn with painstaking accuracy. As the title implies, this novel hits all the buttons ¿ romance, despair, suspense, joy, and, of course, triumph. Be prepared to shed several buckets of tears. This is historical fiction at its best. Let¿s hope more is on the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply and incredible work of historically based fiction that not only entertained me, but enriched me as well. The very real characters captivated me from the very start and never let me go. I felt what they felt and I saw what they saw. This story was written in such a way that I could truly imagine myself there with the characters. Ms. Toews has created a very special story with incredible resarch and authenticity! This is a must read to entertain, and to help us remember a tragic time in world history. Outstanding from beginning to end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
TREASON AND TRIUMPH delivers a realistic, compelling, and often disturbing view of World War II. Author Bonnie Toews uses her razor-sharp insights to graphically depict the physical horrors of war. With brutal honesty, she explores the emotional and spiritual impact on every human being touched by war, exhibiting raw emotion, gentle compassion, and infinite wisdom, such as: ¿Everything we do, everyone we meet becomes a part of us . . . Almost like scattered parts of our soul coming home to roost. For a moment, everything fits, and we belong . . . to that moment . . . or to that person.¿ TREASON AND TRIUMPH should be required reading in every high school, college, and university.
harstan More than 1 year ago
"Treason and Triumph" is a page-turning story of World War II espionage surrounding the construction of the first nuclear weapon. Hitler has the inside track toward acquiring this potentially devastating, war-winning technology, and it is up to allied intelligence to delay and ultimately thwart his efforts, while allied scientists catch up. Four very different characters come together for this story; an American journalist with an intriguing European background, a British royal whose parents are killed during a German bombing raid, a German nobleman reluctantly serving as an SS officer and an anti-Nazi Irishman who has been fighting Hitler since the Spanish Civil War. There is a traitor in their midst, and the pattern of betrayals is very odd. But just as you suspect this is familiar territory, Toews throws a new wrinkle into the mix. World War II stories are generally stories of the good-guy Allies against the bad-guy Nazis. But Toews brings in another major player; the Soviet Union. The Soviet agent is playing a dangerous game of acting as a double double agent. Who is the Soviet spy, and will he (or she) get away with the deception? Pages turn anxiously as the reader tries to guess the answer. And with the Soviet wildcard injected into the story, events do not take a predictable path as "Treason and Triumph" races to its surprising conclusion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Treason and Triumph" by Bonnie Toews is a beautifully crafted thriller that is electrifying espionage at its best. In war-torn Europe, this page turner reveals characters who are so remarkable they become unforgettable. The author's love and knowledge of music and horses adds an interesting new dimension to the story. Bonnie Toews' seamless historical authenticity transports the reader to a time and place that is written with such clarity and sensitivity, it is 'unputdownable.' Will special Project Amanita prevent Hitler from producing the first atomic bomb? The characters are plunged into a nightmare of violence, murder and terror as they try to identify the traitor selling their team to the enemy. The reader spins through surprising twists and hair-raising action from the very first page. A must read, an 'all nighter.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of us whose only knowledge of the struggles endured during World War II comes from the clinical detatchment of academic history books, Bonnie Toews' "Treason & Triumph" speaks volumes, illustrating this period with both new-found understanding and humanity. For those who have experienced the atrocities of war first-hand, the novel revisits that era with alarming precision and sharpness. This first-time author has given readers a compelling work of fiction which intertwines espionage and romance over a nine-year span in war-torn Europe. "Treason & Triumph" details the Allies' secret project to stop the Nazis from developing the first atomic bomb, a conspiracy operation called Project Amanita, Laden with surprises and diversions, this genuine page-turner will keep readers guessing through to the very end. Authenticity rings true throughout the novel, and Toews' painstaking research is apparent -- from the gripping description of a Heinkel-111 dogfight to the details of the intricate hierarchy of the Third Reich. Even though both the central characters and plot are ficticious, the novel suspends any feelings of disbelief. It is a carefully-crafted study of realism, yet Toews never lets the reader's knowledge of history and the eventual outcome of the war interfere with the world the characters inhabit. Depth and credibility are added to the plot because it is woven around true-life events, settings and people: the senseless destruction of Kristallnacht, Germany's omnipotent take-over of the Scandinavian countries -- even Churchill surfaces as a minor character. Some of the novel's imagery remains with the reader long after the final page is turned. Especially difficult to shake from memory are the disturbing and graphic descriptions of Nazi-inflicted torture. One image in particular -- that of SS officers brutally using a Jewish infant as a football, as its parents look on helplessly -- warranted a momentary pause from reading. This is not levelled as a criticism; if anything, this chillingly sadistic and potent passage compells readers to reflect and digest -- and stuns them into comprehending the Nazi mentality on a different, deeper level. One of "Treason & Triumph's" greatest strengths is its emphasis on strong female lead characters. Guerilla journalist Marla and delicate concert pianist Catherine are as caught up in the mayhem as their male counterparts, if not more so. Each suffers her own misery, loss and despair yet draws on inner strength and courage to persevere. Toews explores the peaks and valleys of the human psyche through her twin heroines, who are like one soul split in two. Marla's sensual, defiant and rebellious spirit is a dark contrast to aristocratic Catherine's gentle, lighter nature, though they share common tragedies. Kindred spirits, they are magnetically drawn to each other, nurturing a friendship that is determined to succeed, no matter what challenges it will face. "Treason & Triumph" runs the whole gamut of emotions -- from grief, fear and anger to hope, passion and joy. The novel is an emotional roller-coaster, leaving readers exhilarated, triumphant and craving another ride. Readers can't help but feel empathetic towards the characters; it is as though they have forged a common bond with them, similar to strangers who have suffered a tragedy together (such as enduring a war). And after all is said and done, and the time comes to move on, there is always the question of what happened to those who were left behind. Let's hope Toews doesn't leave it too long before we find out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Treason & Triumph" is a rule-breaker. Nazi spy stories rarely do more than hint at "unspeakable" atrocities, which then oh-so-conveniently go "unspoken," so that readers are thus spared the details of any unpleasantry. Perhaps that's why, only five decades after the Holocaust, the world is already seeing a rebirth of the mentality that gave us mankind's darkest hour. For anyone whose image of Nazi Germany is Hogan's Heroes Colonel Klink, or even the whitewashed Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark, I promise this book will affect you, and that - after all - is the highest accolade to which any story should aspire. Persons whose more genteel sensibilities are easily offended may even be tempted to discontinue reading Treason & Triumph, after the first few chapters. That would be a shameful mistake! This novel - adeptly wrapped in the garments of a fictional and suspense-packed spy thriller - is a marvelously eloquent and truthful portrayal of that which the world can ill afford to forget. Award-winning journalist and debut novelist Bonnie Toews immediately gets down to business in this multi-faceted tale of love, friendship, betrayal, inhumanity and heroism. Toew's villains are many, but among them SS Colonel Streicher is evil incarnate. Heroes rise and fall throughout, but in the end it is the two female characters, Lady Catherine and Marla Franklin who touch our hearts and souls most deeply. Masterfully conceived and plotted, and executed with a vengeance, "Treason & Triumph" is no "Oh well, war is Hell" sugar-coated work of fluff. Instead, Toews shows us the Hell that war really is, and graphically paints us a spellbinding literary picture of the insanity and inhumanity of this dark episode of (in-)human history. Bonnie Toews is one of those infrequent, courageous writers who risk breaking the rules; unwilling to let the passage of a few mere decades shroud the memory of so many heroes, or the sacrifice of so many innocents, lest such atrocities to be matter-of-factly clothed in the easy excuse of "patriotic duty" or "another time." Treason & Triumph is a book with a soul. Don't be too surprised if you find it among the lists of next year's award winners.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Starting in the late 1930's, war rips through Europe, causing much destruction and mayhem. In the midst of all the personal traumas inflicted on innocent beings are two different women, who look like identical twins. Marla Franklin is a renowned American journalist, covering the war for the London Times. Lady Catherine Rushmore is a talented concert pianist, who is starting to earn a deserved reputation as she plays the major halls of Europe. Besides their appearance, the two women become part of Churchill's Project Amanita team that is trying to prevent the Nazis from manufacturing the first atomic bomb. They plan to do whatever it takes over the next few years to insure the allies' triumph. However, the duo has a bigger problem confronting them, as one of their members is a traitor, willing to assist Hitler in defeating the English. TREASONS & TRIUMPH is a triumphant World War II thriller that will attain much acclaim for Bonnie Toews. From the start during the Spanish Civil War to the 1946 Derby race, the story line never slows down for a second. The motives of the important characters are clearly described so readers understand their acts of bravery. However, Ms. Toews' war novel is more than just an espionage thriller. The tale is so filled with vivid and often time ugly details of the horrors of the era that readers with a weak stomach will lose their lunch. The graphic descriptions built within a concise, fast-paced story line make this must reading for fans of the sub-genre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed Bonnie Toew's Treason and Triumph. And I won't even compare her writing to Ken Follett or W E B Griffin. Same genre but delivered in a better and different way. In Treason and Triumph Bonnie quickly draws us into the action and the horror of WWII, European Theater. We are introduced to two British women spies/commandos. The Brits employed many women during this war. Follett's "Jackdaws" is an example. Yet, unlike other writers in this genre, her characters are real. They were people whom I came to know and fear for. The book is historically accurate and I appreciated Bonnie's painstaking research. Treason and Triumph is well paced, well written, and well plotted. Her skills as a writer and as an editor a demonstrated through out the story. If I were asked to recommend an excellent work of fiction related to the role that women played in WWII, this would be the book I would recommend. This is a well-told and exciting story.