For three years, I’ve been working on a novel of World War II set in Canada. Today, I’m happy to announce that The Quadrant Conspiracy: The Plot to Kill FDR, will be released in November and is available for presale today. Read the prologue.
As Anglo-American leaders gather to plan the defeat of Nazi Germany, Hitler orders the death of President Franklin Roosevelt to derail the conference. Brandon Armitage, a Canadian veteran of the Great War, has joined Canada’s Volunteer Guard to oversee German prisoners. When a Luftwaffe pilot escapes. Armitage pursues him to a remote island in Lake Huron, where FDR is fishing. Armitage alerts security officials the prisoner may be out to assassinate the president, but they refuse his help, insisting their security is tight. He must act alone, even as he seeks to rescue his failing marriage.
This novel is based on a historical incident. In August 1943, just prior to the Quadrant Conference, Franklin Roosevelt departed Washington for a weeklong fishing trip in Ontario. As my friend Philip Padgett recounts in his excellent history, Advocating Overlord: The D-Day Strategy and the Atomic Bomb:
The fishing party departed Birch Island by train at 10 p.m., August 7. [The] original plan had been to make a circle to return along the beautiful Ottawa River and through Canada’s capital. However, there had been a security alert. An escaped German prisoner, Peter Krug, had been recaptured early August 5 near the railway in North Bay, Ontario, through which Roosevelt’s returning train would have passed. FDR’s train instead retraced its route through Ontario, then directly back to Washington.
As I read this brief passage, I stopped in my tracks, wondering “what if…?” I wrote Phil suggesting a great plot was hiding in his pages. He knew exactly what I had in mind, encouraged me to write it, and shared hundreds of pages of research. I immersed myself in World War II history, reading nearly two dozen books, including correspondence among FDR, Churchill, and Stalin, going day-by-day through Roosevelt’s timeline at FDR Presidential Library, reading contemporary Canadian newspapers, and more.
Phil read through an early draft, suggested changes, and gave the final draft one last read-through. He even agreed to write the blurb for the jacket.
At a pivotal time in World War II, did the Third Reich try to kill the U.S. president? Deep inside Canada? Allied records surviving today leave only intriguing hints. Evidence from the German side – if it existed –is said to have been destroyed in the bombing of Berlin. From the hints to motive, means, opportunity, and actions, James Lewis has skillfully woven a suspenseful story of what might have happened in his novel, The Quadrant Conspiracy.—iPhilip Padgett, author, Advancing Overlord
The Quadrant Conspiracy is a historical novel with elements of a thriller. It is also the story of a marriage born in the aftermath of one world war and torn apart by another. In short, this story has something for everyone.