An Absolute Secret is out in paperback and in four different ebook formats.
Perhaps the most interesting scene in my book is the meeting between Peter Faye (real name Falk) and Anthony Blunt at the Reform Club in London in December 1943. Blunt worked for MI5 during the war years and it was only later revealed that he was a Soviet spy, part of the famous “Cambridge Five” including Philby, McLean, Burgess, Cairncross and Blunt.
Faye had been summoned to London by MI5 to discuss the secret documents from the Karl-Heinz Kramer operation in Stockholm in September of the same year. Kramer was German spy working for the Abwehr who drove around Stockholm in a white DKW convertible and called himself Himmler's personal representative. Faye had run a very successful operation using an Austrian maid in the Kramer household to remove secret documents from Kramer’s study and to photograph them, before sending them on their way to London where they created quite a stir within the intelligence services. The very first document that was removed from Kramer’s study was the secret memorandum of conversations between Roosevelt and Churchill at the August 1943 Quebec Conference.
Imagine the desolate atmosphere of London in the winter of 1943. The war was still going strong and London was devastated by the bombing. The elegant Reform Club on Pall Mall was still standing although a large swath of buildings in the area had been bombed. In a private room Blunt advanced the idea that the secret memorandum of the conversation between Roosevelt and Churchill was a German forgery. He proposed that the wording was Germanic in its formulation, but Faye was having none of it. He had been present at the 1941 Atlantic Conference in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland and had been shocked by Roosevelt’s vulgarity along with a large number of British staff. In his mind no one could mimic Roosevelt’s obscene remarks about Stalin and certainly a German intelligence officer couldn’t produce a conversation with this level of vulgarity. Clearly Blunt was trying to minimise the importance of the stolen documents and may have been involved in seeing them leaked to Moscow in the first place.
It is hard to imagine a scene more incongruous when we know about Blunt’s commitment to Moscow and the fact that he may also have been involved in leaking the document himself. The memorandum had probably been sent first to the Soviet KGB or GRU, and then a double agent working for a foreign government had copied it on to the Japanese spymaster General Onodera in Stockholm who then sold it to Karl-Heinz Kramer.
This is just one of a number of amazing scenes in my novel, most of which are based on known facts as related by witnesses. The details concerning the purloined documents from Kramer’s house were revealed by Peter Falk in an unpublished manuscript and reported by Hugh Thomas in his book: “The Strange Death of Heinrich Himmler” (2002). My novel tells the story of the British surveillance of Dr Kramer, the ‘White Buses’ operation organized by Count Folke Bernardotte to save the Scandinavian prisoners of German concentration camps, the secret negotiations between SSBrigadeführer Walter Schellenberg and the Swedish, British and American governments during the war.
Let me know what you think about the novel and its underlying historical context in the comments below.
*Originally posted in December 2017