The Keller Papers is a fast-moving espionage story based in 1980s Eastern Europe, including factual events and personalities of the times, which have become so relevant in today’s strained East/West political environment.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "The Keller Papers" by Ellis M. Goodman is a fast-paced, deftly crafted, consistently compelling espionage story that is based in 1980s Eastern Europe, and includes factual events and personalities of the times -- some of whom having once again become relevant in today's strained East/West political environment. "The Keller Papers" clearly documents novelist Ellis Goodman as a master of the suspense/thriller genre. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Keller Papers" is also available in a Kindle format. ~ Midwest Book Review
Take a long trip back in time to WWII and learn more about the atrocities inflicted on the Jewish people and many others who were felt to be inferior and not fit to stand near anyone of the German Superior Race. As the story opens we meet Professor Erik Keller, who is about to defect from Poland to the West. The year 1983 the month February the time period the Cold War. But, although he is a world famous nuclear physicist, and is protected with by a security force to make sure that he leaves the Hotel Imperial in Vienna safely the entire mission is blindsided as Sir Alex Campbell and Anna Kaluza from the British secret service and from Warsaw, tried to get Keller into his car but not before he falls to the ground, drives to Vienna airport for a flight to London. But, although Alex works for M16 and is highly trained it does not stop anyone from attempting to murder this man and taking out his wife. Sir Alex is the chairman of an international drinks business focusing on expensive wines and other liquors.
The attempt on his life is well orchestrated and the person behind it wants to make sure he is dead before paying the assassins. The connection and the man behind it is Karl von Schuyler a wealthy industrialist with political connections high up in the Austrian government. With Keller injured and his wife killed the assassins are angry that they did not fully succeed. Regrouping and planning another attack they rush Keller to a hospital in Vienna only to have to thwart off a second attack two days later while he was in ICU. But, this time they blindsided the killers and managed to make plans for him to be secretly taken to London for treatment and care. Hoping to throw off the killers they media broadcast his death, murder and the funeral arranged by M16 together with the Austrian Security Services. The intrigue continues as Keller begins to get better and the head of M16 Tim Bevans has to decide what the next step is but not before getting the papers with the calculations, solutions, notes and sketches from a friend at Warsaw University. Without the papers saving him was worthless to a point. How to get the papers and keep him alive?
Placing Anna in danger under a new name, different passport and changing her appearance to work for the British Council hoping to create and arrange for a tour of Poland by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. But, Alex is on the Board of Trustees of this orchestra and joins the board for the remainder of the tour in Warsaw. Anna wants to complete her work because her brother Jan is being held prisoner in a Warsaw prison and she is using this as a chance to find him. Caught in the middle of Professor Keller’s defection she is afraid for the life of her brother and will stop at nothing to find him and get him freed.
Things spiral out of control when Keller is moved and the assassination although claiming to be successful the killers learn they have failed. When Alex begins investigating the past of Karl Von Schuyler what he uncovers from the documents given to him by someone within the SS and the Nazi party is startling as we learn more about his man and the part he might have played in the murders, rounds ups and deaths of so many sent to camps. Added others have given free passes to some people in return for thousands of dollars of gold, jewelry, money and other possessions to remain free but not everyone gets that free pass. Simon Wiesenthal has documents from the start of the war until the end and has given them to Alex to read as he hears the voices of many people that worked for Karl and realizing that his role was anything but minor and that he might not be the person he’s claiming to be but someone who has recreated him in another way after the real Karl was killed.
Added in Alex realizes that he has a family connections to Keller and when he relates this and introduces him to his family and others they bond as Keller tells his story to readers and Alex of how he came to decide to defect, how he created the formulas for his project and the fact that he did not take it with him but someone else has it all.
Things spiral out of control as Anna meets with her connection to get the papers she has to give to the Ambassador. The meeting goes fine but somehow the police track her down and they are both taken into custody but will they believe her story? Wanted for murder in Poland and her identity totally changed will anyone realize that she is missing and will her driver or Alex come to her rescue or is she alone in this? What about the British Counsel?
The orchestra arrives she Anna/Janet takes charge and the events go off smoothly as they are an instant success and her transformation even more startling as she now can focus on getting Jan, her brother out of prison. But, the one contact she has does not have the power to have him released but one man does and how far will she go to get her brother out of prison and will this powerful man help her? With her assistant Stephania helping her and BW her boss watching her every move will she manage to survive the rest of her time in Poland, will the police find her again and will Alex be able to deliver the papers to Keller?
Anna takes a chance and meets with Roman Krinsky the only man who can help her but her deception proves dangerous as the mention of her brother brings on his wrath and what happens next could cost her more than she is willing to pay. Someone at the gala realizes her disguise and with the hope of making a deal to deliver the papers to this person she might get her brother released from prison as the author takes us deep inside the M16 hierarchy and the Polish government both not quite on the same side and each one looking to her for different reasons. When things become apparent that something happened to the head of SB, the end result might mean coming after Anna but with Alex’s help she might not have to worry about being arrested. Things change for her and her staff as she is about to move on to complete her mission and the concert tour for the orchestra which is playing music that I love like Hayden and Chopin. Anna now has to hope that her brother will be freed before anyone realizes that she is not Janet Clark.
As the tour draws to a close and she meets with the two main soloists, Charles Adams the man in charge of the tour and saying farewells to BW and the rest of the staff, someone named Sergei is supposed to get her brother out of the Polish prison but there is still one more thing he is holding over her head before her family is safe. If she does not come through he mother might be in danger. The Keller Papers are at the heart of uniting and bringing the UK and countries in the Iron Curtain together if possible but there is more to be done and what will the final ending be after she and her brother make it to London? What about the murder of Krinsky who will pay for that as they arrested someone but will it stick? Lies, deceptions, betrayals, fear, loyalties and friendships are tested but who will ultimately get the coveted Keller Papers and who will benefit from his research?
The end result will surprise you as a harsh truth about Anna comes to light and her position with the M16 is tenuous if not over. What did she do to be dismissed? What about her mother and the threat made by someone if she does not complete a specific mission? What about Karl is he really someone else that took this man’s life over after he was killed? Who created the wine scandal at the end? An ending that will spark further interest in the reader as to how crimes are covered up, the guilty sometimes is forgiven, a nuclear physicist is hoping to bring his research to light for the good but can he or will he? Sometimes justice is served in a different way as Alex and Tim follow the trials of those that were responsible for the wine scandal but someone at the top is using others as scapegoats but in the end you won’t believe how the attempted murder or Keller brings us face to face with the atrocities in the past and the concentration camps. This story reminds us that the Holocaust did happen and many were killed and some escaped from criminal charges as author Ellis Goodman takes us deep inside the Nazi regime, the British 16 letting us know that spies are often right in front of our faces and truths have a unique way of coming out but is this is end for Alex and Anna or will there story keep going?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine
~ Fran Lewis: Just reviews, MJ magazine
A good espionage book set in eastern Europe in the 1980's. It was definitely worth reading as I enjoyed it immensely. ~ Clive Willcocks, NetGalley
Goodman writes clearly and concisely and doesn't mince on words. He is able to clearly articulate the picture is trying to portray and make it come to life. The terror he instilled when writing about WWII was real. It takes a talented author to be able to do this. ~ Jennifer O'Neill , Great Expectations Book Blog
In this groundbreaking mix of fast-paced historical intrigue with heartbreaking genealogical mysteries, Goodman offers a fresh new take on thriller/espionage writing. Incident-filled and packed with edgy details and startling incidents, this book is a thinking thriller-lover’s thriller. The suspense never lets up, and each detail moves the plot at a breathless pace. Couldn’t put it down. ~ Suzanne Seed, author of Saturday’s Child
The Keller Papers is an exciting read, a worthy sequel to the family saga Bear Any Burden, but it stands very much on its own. The well-paced narrative is full of thrills and surprises, and the setting in Eastern Europe during the Cold War in the early 1980s, provides an interesting glimpse into the political and economic turbulence of the times. Highly recommended.
~ Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China
Ellis Goodman’s new novel, The Keller Papers, is a story of intrigue, espionage, murder, and mayhem on a grand scale. Its globe-trotting cast of characters include beautiful women, handsome men, spies from east and west, a nefarious ex-Nazi SS officer, and a business executive who occasionally does “little jobs” for M16. With action and suspense galore, Ellis Goodman takes the reader on a wild ride that ends up not only exhilarating but challenging, with informed references to global commerce, as well as European politics, history, and tragedy—the Holocaust plays a sad but prominent role in nearly every character’s life. A gripping tale, well worth the reading.
~ Gary D. Wilson, author of the novels Getting Right and Sing, Ronnie Blue
Testimonial for Bear Any Burden: Ellis Goodman has written a gripping, moving, and dramatic story that holds the attention from first page to last. Like all the best fiction, it is deeply rooted in fact; in this case in the realities of Jewish life during stirring, uncertain and traumatic times. This, Ellis Goodman’s first novel, is a masterly work of detection and espionage that deserves the widest readership.
~ Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill’s official Biographer and author of 80 books