The Hapsburg Variation


The Hapsburg Variation (2017)

Eight years into his career with the CIA, Karl Baier once again finds himself on the front line of the Cold War. He is stationed in Vienna in the spring of 1955 as Austria and the four Allied Powers are set to sign the State Treaty, which will return Austria’s independence, end the country’s post-war occupation, and hopefully reduce tensions in the heart of Europe. But the Treaty will also establish Austrian neutrality, and many in the West fear it will secure Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe and create a permanent division.

Asked to help investigate the death of an Austrian aristocrat and Wehrmacht veteran, Baier discovers an ambitious plan not only to block the State Treaty, but also to subvert Soviet rule in lands of the old Hapsburg Empire. Then Baier’s wife is kidnapped, and the mission becomes intensely personal. Many of his basic assumptions are challenged, and he discovers that he cannot count on loyalties, even back home in Washington, D.C. At each maddening turn in the investigation, another layer must be peeled away.

Even if Baier succeeds in rescuing his wife, he faces the unenviable task of unraveling an intricate web of intrigue that reaches far back into the complicated history of Central Europe.

Book 2 in the Cold War Thriller series, which began with Tears of Innocence.


Available for Purchase from…

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo   |   goodreads

& more major retailers soon!

Series: Cold War Thriller (Book 2)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Coffeetown Press (December 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603816437
ISBN-13: 978-1603816434

TheCipherBrief“Bill Rapp’s real story is just as interesting as the ones he makes up … UnderCover caught up with Rapp to talk about his journey to become a novelist, and about his upcoming book, The Budapest Escape, scheduled for publication later this year…

Click here to read the full interview with The Cipher Brief: “A Rapp Sheet Worth Writing About”

“If you are a history enthusiast, I would definitely recommend “The Hapsburg Variation” by Bill Rapp. […] Rapp is an intelligent and well written author and this book is able to showcase his dedication to crafting a superior historical thriller.”

– Reneé Alfrey for Reader Views

Click here to read Reneé Alfrey’s full review


“I liked the writing, the post-war ambiance, the characters, and the nasty geo-politics well enough to be willing to think I should get the first novel and start over at the beginning…”

Click here to read the full review from Historical Novel Society

Re-Creating the Past by Bill Rapp – An essay on the challenges of writing historical fiction for Sarah Johnson’s blog, “Reading the Past”.

Check out Bill’s Author Snapshot interview with Spinetingler Magazine

Author Snapshot: Bill Rapp

January 8, 2018 by Sandra Ruttan

“I began my professional life as a historian (Ph.D.: Vanderbilt University, M.A.: University of Toronto; B.A.: University of Notre Dame), where I taught European History at Iowa State University for a year before launching into a career as an intelligence officer. (I’m not sure this is crazy, but I spent 35 years working for the CIA.) Most of that time was spent in Washington, but I also had tours in Berlin, Ottawa, Baghdad, and London. Now, as a semi-retiree I am enjoying the next stage as a writer of mysteries and thrillers that combine my love of history and literature, and memories of a great career.” ~ Bill Rapp

What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?

Henry James’s The American. It captured that confrontation between the Old World and the New, a confrontation that was inevitable given our close cultural and historical ties but differing aspirations. But the story also displayed something unique and special that the New World has to offer the Old one. I think that thought lies at the heart of the Cold War Spy Series.

Did you try your hand at poetry as a teenager or use stick figures to illustrate your comic books? Tell us about your early writing efforts.

My earliest writing efforts came from my first career as a historian. I published two academic articles and a dissertation.

What’s your new book/work in progress about? What inspired you to write it?

Click here to read the full article & find out more!

Publishers Weekly Review, page 67


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