Krugler’s spy thriller sequel to be released in July

April 30, 2018
Rip the Angels from Heaven

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – In July 2018, Pegasus Books will publish Dr. David Krugler’s second novel, “Rip the Angels from Heaven,” a spy thriller set in Washington, D.C., and Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1945. Krugler is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

In “Rip the Angels from Heaven,” a sequel to Krugler’s “The Dead Don’t Bleed,” also a spy thriller set in 1945, Lieutenant Ellis Voigt, an investigator for the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Sabotage, Espionage and Counter-subversion section, fights to prevent the Soviets from infiltrating the Manhattan Project while running from enemies on both sides. The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects he is the communist who murdered a Naval officer in a Washington back alley. The Soviets believe he is holding back information from their contacts, and they are willing to use any means necessary to extract it.

Krugler began writing the novel two years before “The Dead Don’t Bleed” came out in June 2016. He said the writing project required intensive research, especially on the Manhattan Project, a research and development project led by the United States during World War II to produce nuclear weapons. While doing research, Krugler read many biographies and academic studies of the project and its luminaries, particularly scientist Robert Oppenheimer. He also conducted online research for historic photos and documents to give himself a vivid picture of the people, place and time period. He completed the draft of the novel in June 2017.

Krugler was inspired to write the sequel because he felt as though the novel’s main character had created a lot of problems for himself at the end of “The Dead Don’t Bleed,” and Krugler was excited about the opportunity and challenge of determining how he might try to fix those problems.

“Continuing the story right where the first novel left off was the most rewarding,” said Krugler. “The biggest challenge was figuring out how to spool out details and events from the first novel so that someone who hasn’t read ‘The Dead Don’t Bleed’ knows how those things affect the story in ‘Rip the Angels from Heaven.’”

As a history professor, Krugler frequently teaches students about Communist espionage in the United States. “Studying and understanding this topic is important,” said Krugler. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding, or lack of basic knowledge, about this side of the Cold War, which is why it’s important to teach about it. It’s a subject that has a lot of lessons for us today as we deal with foreign attempts to affect our own politics and governance.”

Krugler said that researching and writing “The Dead Don’t Bleed” and “Rip the Angels from Heaven” has informed his teaching which, in turn, helps his students.

“It has helped me hone my historical empathy, which I hope enables me to guide my students to appreciation of how various people wrestled with ethic challenges and personal risks,” said Krugler. “Why did some Americans betray their nation for a foreign power? Why did others help build a weapon they worried could destroy humankind if it ended up in the wrong hands?” 

A historian of the modern United States, Krugler has published nonfiction books on several different topics: Cold War propaganda, nuclear warfare and racial conflict in the United States. In addition to “The Dead Don’t Bleed” and “Rip the Angels from Heaven,” he is the author of “The Voice of America and the Domestic Propaganda Battles, 1945-1953” (University of Missouri Press, 2000); “This Is Only a Test: How Washington, D.C. Prepared for Nuclear War” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006); and “1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back” (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is also the editor of “The Cold War: Core Documents” (2018).

Krugler grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, then left his home state to attend Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating with degrees in English and history, he earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He moved back to Wisconsin in 1997 to teach at UW-Platteville.

To purchase a copy of Krugler’s sequel, visit IndieBound:

The Driftless Market in Platteville will have signed copies of the book for sale after its release on July 3.

Krugler has two book signings scheduled:
• July 10, 7 p.m., at Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
• August 9, 2018, time TBD, at Mystery to Me, 1863 Monroe Street, Madison, Wisconsin.

Krugler is currently working on a third novel, not yet titled, that continues the action of “The Dead Don’t Bleed” and “Rip the Angels from Heaven.” The third novel will be a prequel that features a new character introduced in “Rip the Angels.”

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


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