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  • Little, Brown US

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

Chad Milman

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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 Harbour in 1916.

In 1916 a group of German saboteurs blew up Black Tom Island, a spit of land in New York Harbour. The brazen attack destroyed the harbour and the ammunition housed there - and 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 plotting further, more deadly, attacks.
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 made it their mission to solve a mystery that began during the first World War and barely ended before the second. They were litigators, spies, historians and, ultimately, defenders of the truth. THE DETONATORS is a fascinating portrait of these men and their time; 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.

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