In book 1, “39 Down” Paul Trifthauser, a thirty something American graphic artist living in Austria, returns to the US to clean up his grandfathers estate. While there his fiance, the beautiful, sexy, Ukrainian banker Ariana Pernovic discovers a code written in 3,000 crossword puzzles stored in an old barn. This discovery leads to seven Swiss bank accounts, accounts used to fund his grandfathers legacy. An espionage network so secretive and so lethal, even the CIA is reluctant to stop it.
Ariana sends him to Switzerland, where he meets the gorgeous, sultry, French-Indian, high end prostitute Alejandra, sent by powerful people to track him. But Trifthauser flips Alejandra and she becomes his ally and confidant. Together they unravel the mystery of Joseph Schneider and unwittingly jump start his network.
In Book 2, the tables are turned. Trifthauser and Alejandra find that their enemies are the giant international trading cartels that run the world. He also learns that his grandfather was not the kindly old man he knew, but a near genius cryptographer that infiltrated both US and Russian codes. To get more information and get access to the underworld, Trifthauser befriends a French Princess, Colette to gain access to her lunatic husband, Marcel Solange, a man who runs slave mining operations in Africa. In the process, he gets closer to finding out why the cartels want him dead.
In Book 3, “My Brother’s Keeper”, Trifthauser comes under attack once again, for reasons he can’t even fathom, but this time the hit is directed not just at him, but at Alejandra and their two adopted daughters, Vaidehi and Priya, Indian girls saved from a life of misery and prostitution from the same school Alejandra learned her trade in.
This time, Trifthauser befriends another princess, Sabrina Luneberg. A member of the house of Hanover, German Royalty and a distant relative of the House of Windsor, Luneberg is a shrew that’s as hard as steel and every bit as cold. He uses her to get to her father, the German industrialist Hoerst Druckenmiller, his grandfather’s fiercest enemy. This time, Trifthauser discovers the real reason his grandfather started his network.
In Book 4, “Ghosts Never Die”, Trifthauser finds that his grandfathers demons won’t go away. This time the trigger is the murder of his CIA contact and friend Irving. Set up to make it appear as if he killed Irving, Trifthauser seeks his revenge by attacking the people behind Irving’s murder. In doing so, he steps into the US drug underworld. Here, he discovers a government-drug complex and learns of their plot to control the world using drugs, public schools and technology.
With the aid of his daughters, the enticing 19 year old beauty, Vaidehi and her sister, the genius Priya, he attacks the privatized government-drug complex only to find that they’re not his biggest problem.
In book 5, is tentatively titled, “The Curse of Joseph Schneider,” the series comes full circle. This book will be the most expansive of the five and the culmination of the Trifthauser story. In it, Trifthauser will realize that not only has he inherited his grandfather’s spy legacy as well as hundreds of millions of dollars, but he has also inherited his madness. He will attempt, through sophisticated psychological techniques as well as drugs, to channel the ghost of his grandfather through himself.
Much of the early chapters, which are already drafted, take place in the old abandoned NY Central train station in Buffalo, NY. It is here where so many young men were shipped off to their death in World War 2, that Trifthauser attempts to contact his long diseased grandfather.
My plan is to spend the first four months researching world wars one and two. My guide is my fathers old scrapbook, a book he pasted together as a child based on pictures and articles he cut out of newspapers during the war and finished in 1944. A book I found in the bottom of an old box we were preparing to throw out, it’s a rare glimpse of a young boys impression of that massive war. Published in a different era, it’s filled with brilliant artists renderings of the war that were common in the days before images could be sent in seconds. I will include as many of these as I can in the e-book, and certainly in the Landon Fillmore website.
I admit, this book will be difficult to understand without reading books one through four. I had to make a choice, to either make the books hyper simple and cut out plot lines so they can each be read alone, or make them a continuum to be read in order. In all honesty, I simply cannot cut out plot lines. It’s the interwoven nature of them that makes this story so interesting to me and the characters Alejandra, Vaidehi, Priya and Sabrina to my readers.
In the 80’s I took a trip to Manila in the Philippines, alone. I wanted to see a place that I had only read about, the island compound of Corregidor, the place where the coward MacArthur abandoned his troops to torture and death when he and the cherry picked members of his senior staff bolted in the middle of the night, against the orders of Roosevelt, for Australia. It was here that I stood above and said a prayer for the Americans who were buried in that lonely, abandoned rat hole thousands of miles from their families.
World War 2 was portrayed as a victory to the US, but it wasn’t to the families of the 250,000 American men and women who died fighting it. This will be their story.