Portuguese American Journal

Book | The Book Spy: A WW2 Novel | by Alan Hlad – Editor’s Note

It is 1942: With the war’s outcome hanging in the balance, President Roosevelt sends an unlikely new taskforce on a unique mission. They are librarians and microfilm specialists trained in espionage, working with a special branch of the Office of Strategic Services and deployed to neutral cities throughout Europe. By acquiring and scouring Axis newspapers, books, technical manuals, and periodicals, the librarians can gather information about troop location, weaponry, and military plans.

Maria Alves, a microfilm expert working at the New York Public Library, is dispatched to Lisbon, where she meticulously photographs publications and sends the film to London to be analyzed. Working in tandem with Tiago Soares, a Portuguese bookstore owner on a precarious mission of his own—providing Jewish refugees with forged passports and visas—Maria acquires vital information, including a directory of arms factories in Germany.

But as she and Tiago grow closer, any future together is jeopardized when Maria’s superiors ask her to pose as a double agent, feeding misinformation to Lars Steiger, a wealthy Swiss banker and Nazi sympathizer who launders Hitler’s gold. Gaining Lars’ trust will bring Maria into the very heart of the Fuhrer’s inner circle. And it will provide her with a chance to help steer the course of war, if she is willing to take risks as great as the possible rewards.


“Tiago, carrying a canvas and leather duffle bag, exited the train station at the Porto station and stretched his leg muscles, right from sitting on the five-hour ride from sitting Lisbon. As he walked through the station, Rosa’s St. Christopher medallion swing back and for the on the chain beneath his white button-down shirt. Outside, he made his way along narrow, cobblestone streets. Church bells rang throughout the city, filled with Baroque, Gothic, and Portuguese Romanesque the city, filed with Baroque, Gothic, and cathedrals. At the riverfront, bursting with dockworkers, he hitched a ride on a rabelo boat, a wooden flat-bottomed cargo vessel, that was being towed upstream on the Douro River. As the boat traveled along the waterway, the city of Porto disappeared, giving way to lush valleys with vineyards cut into hillsides. Adolescent emprise of helping his father load barrels of port wine onto rabelo boats flashed in Tiago’s head, and he longed for days when Europe was at peace.” –Excerpt


About the Author

Alan Hlad is the internationally bestselling author of historical fiction novels inspired by real-life people and events during WWI and WWII, including Churchill’s Secret Messenger and the USA Today and IndieBound bestseller The Long Flight Home. His shorter work has appeared in The Bleeding Lion, Larks Fiction Magazine, The National Underwriter and Claims Magazine. In addition to writing meticulously researched historical fiction, Alan is president of an executive search firm, a frequent conference speaker, and a member of the Historical Novel Society, Literary Cleveland, and the Akron Writers’ Group.  He lives in Ohio with his wife and children and can be found online at AlanHlad.com.


Book Details

Title: The Book Spy: A WW2 Novel

Autor: Alan Hlad

Publisher: Kensington

Series: Librarian Spies

Publication Date: January 24, 2023

Language:‎ English

Paperback: 384pp

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