From time to time interested readers have been asking when a new sequel to the Corridor of Darkness trilogy might appear. After all, three years (and a pandemic) have passed since publication of novel number four in the series, Echoes of Silence. Well, the time has finally come to reveal the latest challenges in the lives of the many characters who populate these stories.

CRUCIBLE OF DECEIT, A Novel of Wartime Europe

Drawn inexorably into a maelstrom of espionage and intrigue, familiar and never-before-seen characters are forced to navigate wartime Europe of 1941-42, where intelligence operatives for the belligerent and neutral nations constantly seek an advantage, and few encounters are as they appear.

Tested American operative Ryan Lemmon, having barely escaped the Reich in Echoes of Silence, is now tasked with repatriating a nuclear physicist doing research at the University of Pisa. This seemingly simple assignment in Mussolini’s fascist Italy soon becomes something else entirely, and Ryan must depend on all the skills he has been forced to master in his undercover life as an agent.

Meanwhile, in the heart of Hitler’s Berlin, an agent of the Third Reich code-named Klara, trained to seduce and kill, sets her sights on our American under guidance from her Nazi controls, but she is working a personal agenda, as well. Beauty and intelligence can deceive.

And Ryan’s decade-long university friend René Gesslinger, last seen in Fulcrum of Malice off the French coast in a fishing trawler heading for England, returns to Occupied France to stop the arrest, torture and murder of Résistance partisans. His task won’t be easy in a divided country where betrayals are a way of life and death.

Crucible of Deceit, a Novel of Wartime Europe, is now available on Amazon as both e-book and paperback. Just click here to visit the book’s webpage:

Or, should you prefer, the paperback can be ordered at Barnes & Noble or any bookstore you favor.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions here on this blogsite, and of course I am most grateful for your reader reviews on Amazon! I’ll be back to updating this blog with stories from the journals of the fascinating man who inspires these novels, as well as suggestions on how you can visit some of the beautiful European spots I portray as a backdrop to these challenging times of WWII.

Thanks for reading!


About Patrick W. O'Bryon

Writer. Traveler. Europhile, especially Italy and France. Hobbies: rescuing animals from abuse, abandonment and mistreatment, and being sous chef around the kitchen to my chef de cuisine wife.
This entry was posted in Corridor of Darkness, Novels of Nazi Germany, European Travel, Historical Thriller, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Wellyn Sellers says:

    I’ve been wondering Ryan was going to make a reappearance….I absolutely love this series… I’ve been following you Patrick from the beginning and you’ve singed all of my books via author plate…I can’t wait to read Crucible of Deception… sincerely Wellyn Sellers

  2. Always a pleasure to hear from you, Wellyn, and few things please an author more than hearing that the stories are truly appreciated! Please let me know how I can get you a signed author plate for the latest Ryan Lemmon adventure. My best, Patrick

  3. Thanks so much, Mark. I’m a great fan of your blog and writings.

  4. Lincoln Wolverton says:

    An ironic anachronism. Early in Crucible of Deceit, you have Klara and an important German having drinks in a Paris bar. He is drinking a “kir”. A kir (originally Kir) is named after the Chanoine Kir, who was in the Resistance during World War II and became mayor of Dijon after the war. [I met him when he held a reception for Dartmouth College students on a term-abroad program.]

    The story is that, after the Nazis expropriated all the good red burgundies (and probably the great chardonnays), he began promoting vin blanc-cassis using the cheaper white aligote wine as a blend with the black currant cassis liqueur–he may have invented the drink–as a means of income for the Burgundy wine industry. For his work in promoting (or inventing) vin blanc-cassis the drink was named Kir after him. Thus, Klara’s German companion could not have been drinking kir.

    Maybe for the electronic version of Crucible of Deceit, you could fix the anachronism.

    Of course, you could continue your fine Corridor of Darkness series with a Ryan Lemmon tale involving the Chanoine Kir, who would be drinking the correct concoction.

    • Thanks so much for clarifying the origin of the name “kir” and spotting the anachronism, since I do aim for historical accuracy in my writing. How nice that you personally encountered Chanoine Kir! Was the reception in Dijon? My late father mentioned in his contemporary journals enjoying a white wine with cassis on Boulevard St Germain in 1937. In his later years he referred to the drink as “kir,” so I missed the mark by assuming a long-standing name. Next time, more research! I have found references to “vin blanc-cassis” emerging from the nineteenth century and then mixed specifically in Dijon of 1904 by a bartender named Faivre. So it is likely my father ordered a pre-war “blanc-cassis.” Unless I were to have Klara develop time travel as an additional personal strength, I shall indeed make the correction you suggest, and I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to share your insights.

      • Lincoln Wolverton says:

        In answer to your question, the reception was indeed in Dijon, hosted by the mayor, the Chanoine Kir, and as I recall, that was my first taste of a Kir,

        Should you consider using the Chanoine Kir for a future novel, this, from the French Wikipedia:

        “His patriotic attitude earned him the hostility of the collaborators. On January 26, 1944, he was the victim at his home of an attack perpetrated not by the Milice, but by Frenchmen in the pay of the Occupation, belonging to “the Kommando Sandrin organized by the Abwehrstelle3″. Wounded by several bullets, hospitalized, he evaded Gestapo searches by leaving Dijon, where he returned on September 11, 1944, the day of the Liberation of the city.”

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