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World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm, Halifax Explosion, German Spy, Sabotage plot, Alternate history, Early twentieth century

Spies, Espionage & Explosions
A Tale of the North American German Invasion by Don Kane

The largest human-made explosion in history happened on December 6, 1917, levelling the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. But was it truly an accident?

Spies, Espionage, and Explosions follow the scheming plans of Germany’s war-time leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II, to take over North America. After establishing a vast network of informants for decades, he sends two of his top spies to orchestrate a series of sabotage operations throughout Canada and the US, culminating in the largest of all: The 1917 Halifax Explosion. From the destruction of munitions operations and railways to the burning of the Canadian Parliament Buildings, this story weaves a tale of intrigue and betrayal that the history books won’t tell you.

The American British Ambassador Sir Cecil Spring-Rice is based in Washington DC. His North American team of British agents and US Pinkerton agents continually are trying to sabotage the devious German plots throughout Canada and the United States.

Using real historical documents and a brilliantly constructed political world, this gripping historical fiction is so potent, it might just convince you it’s true.

“'Spies, Espionage & Explosions' is a what-if page-turner that will convince many that the German Empire came frighteningly close to putting its armies ashore in North America.

The text’s balance between history, fiction, and well-informed conjecture is strong. By the end, the idea that the Germans had something to do with the horror at Halifax in 1917 feels concrete, especially with the revelation that, a year earlier, German carried out the Black Tom Explosion in New Jersey, also targeting stockpiles of ammunition.”

– Foreword Clarion Review

“A historical novel that dramatizes the infiltration of Canada and the United States by German agents in advance of World War I.

In 1911, Kaiser Wilhelm II is increasingly certain that war is in his empire’s proximate future, so he begins to make early preparations. He eyes North America as a good place to start, especially because he’s resentful of the United States’ rising economic influence in South America and the Pacific. He tasks one of his closest confidants to be his personal spy on the continent, with a mission to create civil unrest, disseminate false information, gather intelligence, and distract Canadian and American authorities from the tumult in Europe.”

– Kirkus Reviews

Don Kane photo

Don Kane is an author, researcher, educator and IT professional. As a child, he remembers talking with his father about his role in World War II. His father replied, “I was in the Canadian Secret Service, trained at Camp X, and the Halifax Explosion wasn’t an accident.” This, combined with a later position with the National Museums of Canada’s Discovery Train Project, sparked an interest in Canada’s role in World War I. Kane researched the Halifax Explosion, and the larger political environment of that era, to provide the backbone for his book.

Kane taught “The Business of Being An Artist” for the Extensions Department of the Nova Scotia College of Art And Design. He was the 2nd executive director for Visual Arts Nova Scotia, and edited the “Visual Arts News”. He has written articles for Halifax Magazine. His poetry has been published in Redbook Magazine. Kane was also a Founding Member of both C.F.N.S. (Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia) and S.I.A.N.S. (Software Industry Association of Nova Scotia).

Kane lives with his wife in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where his family has lived since the 1860s. This is his first novel.


Don Kane

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