The Krongold Conspiracy is a work of considerable scope and imagination; a gripping stimulating read from start to finish.

The story of three men who took an oath in the aftermath of the Second World War to help the future of Israel is reflected as the dream of Haim Krongold who wants all Jews to be able to live in peace.

Years later when a US President is made aware of events that shaped a conspiracy to destabilize the US Government the reader is immersed in a dangerous intriguing political thriller.

The story reveals some interesting facts on the history of American and Israeli relations and reveals a different side to the Middle East crisis.

In Store Price: $AU23.95
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ISBN: 1-9208-8447-5
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages: 282
Genre: Fiction



Author: Chris Chaney 
Imprint: Zeus
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2004
Language: English




Chris Chaney was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1944. He was educated to secondary level in Mombasa and Nairobi.

At the age of 16, he joined the British merchant marine as a deck officer, serving in the Middle and Far East. On leaving the service, he completed a management course with a major retail chain, before enrolling at Liverpool University in Britain and successfully completing an honours degree course in Psychology. After graduation he worked for 20 years in the audio/visual and communications industry, selling mass communications systems principally in the Middle East and later in Africa and Australasia.

He met his future wife in the United States and moved to join her in Melbourne in 1986. They successfully operated several small business ventures before retiring to the Mornington Peninsula in 2002.

Chris has always had a keen interest in the Middle East and the complex and unpredictable political structure of the region.

He is currently researching his third book.

"Although the Krongold Conspiracy, by Chris Chaney, is a work of fiction based on one of the most burning topics of our time, the Author's meticulous research and intimate knowledge of the subject makes this new political thriller a near the knuckle, un-put-downable epic." Madeleine Masson-Rayner—author, scriptwriter and screen writer


 The Story  

In the aftermath of the Second World War, three men, deeply affected by the unspeakable cruelty they had witnessed, swore an oath. That oath was to do everything possible to help the fledgling Jewish homeland, Israel. 

It was the dream of one man, Haim Krongold, which drove them. His dream was to see the State of Israel become a major power, where all Jews could live in peace and never again fear persecution, domination and discrimination. Israel, a land where Jews from the four corners of the earth could return according to prophesy. 

They set out to achieve the dream, creating an unbelievable and stunningly audacious plan. They would infiltrate the workings of the major powers, especially the United States of America, thereby ensuring favourable support for Israel. With some incredible luck, patience and audacious skill, they pursued the dream. 

Two sons became involved, one ruthless and manipulative, the other a consummate politician. The world of high fashion intermingled with political intrigue and blackmail. 

One unforeseen incident would lead to the unravelling of their carefully laid plans. 

Frank Burton, the President of the United States, was made aware of a conspiracy involving people dear and close to him. He gathered a small, determined team, slowly unraveling the complex structures that had taken decades to set up. In the process, old friendships had to be forgone and harsh decisions taken. He was determined to track down and expose everyone involved.

This was a crisis with the potential to destabilize the government of the United States. It was a situation that was as dangerous as it was unbelievable. 

Before the conspiracy is completely exposed, one final, daring, and decisive action would ensure the dream’s lasting legacy.  

The story follows the events that shaped the conspiracy; the counter-attack, to the conclusion, where both sides could claim that the ends justified the means.

Chapter One (part sample)




The first cold morning of the late autumn was frosty and bleak.

President Franklin George Burton stared out of the window of the Oval Office and wondered once more, what he was doing in this historic place. He felt uncomfortable with the fact that he was the most powerful human being on earth, and the heavy burden that placed on him.

Born into a family that had always been closely involved with politics, he had been named after the President his father had most admired, Franklin Roosevelt. The George? Because all Burtons were given the name George. On the day he was born, his father proudly held him up and announced that this was the future president of the United States of America.

He was to be the only child, as his mother died soon after his birth.

Forty-seven years later, his father’s prophesy had been achieved.

Franklin Burton did not fit the typical image of a politician. He was small in stature, suffered from bouts of asthma and was a nervous introvert who would rather have been an academic, than a leader. He was highly intelligent, with a mind that not only questioned everything but also sought the answer. Despite his physical limitations, he had the courage of a lion, as many an antagonist had discovered to their considerable discomfort. His first love was history, a subject he could debate with anyone on any period from the ancients to the modern.

His father, George Washington Burton, was the sole heir to a fortune made during two world wars. Great grandfather Burton had been a blacksmith who had somehow come into a considerable sum of money. Where this fortune came from was never discussed, despite speculation about associations with organized crime.  It did give the older Burton the means to start a forging business that grew into one of the major steel industries in the USA. Two wars had helped it become one of the largest steel fabricating businesses in the world.

It had been assumed that Franklin would join the business, but it was soon obvious that the sickly boy was never going to have the ‘right stuff’. His grandfather declared that a runt would never win the approval of tough men in a tough environment.

A succession of nannies and relatives raised Franklin, or Frank as he became known to his family. His father never stopped saying that he had promised his late wife that their only son would one day be the president.

Frank was a brilliant scholar and one of the youngest graduates from Harvard. He won a prestigious fellowship to Cambridge University in England, where he completed his doctorate on the history of the civilized world.

He was courted by a number of universities, but his father demanded he follow the path he had chosen. Frank was sent to Washington to work for a senator who owed his political life to the Burtons.

Senator Andrew Gilman was as opposite to his young charge as one can get. He was a giant of a man, almost seven feet tall and weighing a massive 300 pounds. He had been an outstanding footballer and athlete. He had considerable charm, and was a serial womanizer. Gilman was in his late 30s, politically ambitious and as devious as a barrel full of monkeys. He saw in young Frank something special, and quickly concurred with his mentor’s dream that this small person would be a future president. 

Frank had, at first, hated Washington and the unscrupulous political scene. Gilman’s womanizing made him uncomfortable, from the first time he saw the senator copulating with a girl, young enough to be his daughter, on the senatorial desk. The senator had later casually said that some people would do anything to further their position in life.

However, Frank grudgingly had to admit, there was something about the political process that made the adrenalin surge.

He had been signed up as a member of the Democratic Party at birth and attended every function his father deemed would help. His father and the senator worked the system carefully, so that by the time he was thirty five, the talk among the party king makers was that Franklin George Burton was going to be their presidential candidate sooner rather than later.

One major obstacle to his chances was the fact that he was not married. Frank was shy, and was uncomfortable in female company. The senator tried his best, scouring the ranks of all the eligible young women, for a suitably connected partner for his protégé. Burton senior had never remarried, despite the determined attempts of a number of fine women.

Fate unexpectedly intervened. At a national convention, he bumped into a young woman and sent her flying. He rushed to help her up, apologizing profusely for his carelessness. He realized that for the first time in his life he was looking at someone with whom he really wanted to be.

Melody Anne Field was an administrative assistant to the Governor of Virginia. Slender and short she could not be described as pretty but neither was she ugly. A modest dresser who wore minimal makeup, she was 38 and single.

She too seemed taken by the small man stumbling about for the right words.

Less than six months later, they were married. The only family she had living, was an elderly uncle suffering from dementia. Andrew Gilman gave her away and various Burton cousins acted as bridesmaids.

It was a grand wedding and the guest list was the entire Washington political ‘A’ list.

Mel, as she was known, was soon acquainted with the ambitions of father and political mentor and became an enthusiastic disciple.

Five years later, Franklin George Burton was sworn in as President of the most powerful nation on the planet, proudly watched by his father and wife.

If anyone had made the mistake of thinking that the new president was going to be anyone’s patsy, they quickly found out how wrong their assumptions were. He was well versed in matters political and had determined, even before the inauguration, that he would be his own man.

However, despite everything, he hated the demands and strains of the job. His retreat was in books on history and the secret book he was writing. Mel had changed once he had been nominated. She loved the power that came with the title of ‘First Lady’ and all the trappings. She too determined to stamp her own authority on the position

Her relationship with her husband was more like brother and sister than husband and wife. Sex was not a priority for either of them. 

The sudden buzz of the intercom interrupted his reverie.

“The Director of the CIA, the Director of the FBI and the Chief of Staff would like to meet with you urgently, Mr President. You have 45 minutes before your next meeting, can they come in?”

Maria Fernandez was like a mother to Frank. She had worked for the senator for many years and they had formed a close friendship way back then. When he was elected she was the natural choice to be his secretary and confidante.

“Send them in Maria and arrange for some coffee please.”

The three men who entered the Oval office were all hand picked by Frank Burton.

Chief of Staff Pete Schulz had been poached from the Burton steel empire where he had been a senior vice president and a friend since Harvard days. The CIA director was a friend of Senator Gilman and someone he liked and trusted. Orville Wilson had been a ‘top gun’ naval aviator and later a much admired intelligence analyst. His elevation to head the CIA was passed by all sides of the political fence without hesitation. Douglas Maloney was a tough Washington cop who had joined the FBI looking for new challenges. He and Frank had been friends for years. Skill and achievement had helped him up the promotional ladder. Frank had no hesitation in appointing him to the position of director.

“Good morning gentlemen, to what do I owe such an unexpected honor?”

“Good morning Mr President,” replied Schulz, “we have a major problem. “

The President motioned for them to sit and sat on the edge of his desk.

“I guess it has to be if you three are here together, what’s up?”

Schulz nodded at Orville Wilson who, out of habit, stood up to speak.

“Sir, we have uncovered a major breach in national security. In fact at this stage, it appears that we could be facing one of the greatest threats to the political stability of the United States of America, ever.”

“That’s a pretty broad statement Orville, am I going to be privy to the reason? And by the way, if this is so serious, why are National Security and Sec of State not here?”

“Because, Mr President, Mitch Flynn is in the Far East and we think that our problem lies with State.”

“Jesus, Orville, stop talking in riddles and get on with it. What the hell are you talking about?”

“Sir, please sit down as this may take some time. What I am going to tell you is only a fraction of the riddle we have uncovered so far.

Several days ago, a senior assistant to the Secretary of State was found dead in his apartment. There was nothing to suggest anything other that death from natural causes. The coroner’s office naturally decided to do an autopsy. The results indicated that death was due to some sort of toxin. This was confirmed when the coroner contacted the Defence Department’s toxic research branch and they brought the matter to my attention. The toxin was one of the most lethal known and top secret.

The immediate question was how the killer had obtained the toxin, which is so secret only a very few senior research personnel know of it. We are still seeking the answer.

I immediately contacted Doug and had all the police records quietly passed over to the FBI. The man’s apartment had not been searched, as it was assumed that no crime had been committed. We conducted a minute search and found three laptops and, in a concealed safe a number of DVDs and CDs.

These were sent to the FBI’s computer crime lab for examination. One contained some classified low-level State material, the sort that a senior bureaucrat would have on him. It was the others, however, that caused a stir. One was all in Hebrew and the other, highly modified, contained a language no one could identify. Yesterday they found out that it was an ancient form of the Assyrian language spoken in the Middle East several thousand years ago. Our problem was that there are not a lot of folks about who either speak it or understand it that well. We have found a senior researcher at the National Library who helped identify the language and who may be able to help translate.

The Hebrew was less of a problem. What we have been able to identify, are the names of several hundred people employed in many departments at various levels of seniority. A list of names in itself wouldn’t do more than raise an eyebrow or two, but further examination of the hard disk drive has revealed another list different from that on the CD. That list contains the names and addresses of some of the most powerful men here in Washington.” 

“I don’t see why this should cause any alarm? Anyone in State could have such lists on file, and here in Washington gathering shit on people is second nature to most.”  

The President did not like verbose, roundabout presentations. Short and to the point was his policy. 

Wilson took a swig of his coffee before continuing.

“Sir, the Hebrew CDs and laptop have yielded more than lists of names. There are detailed notes on many of the departmental heads, politicians and captains of industry. These notes contain material that could be used to pressure the individuals.

The real cause for concern is why the material is in Hebrew, and why the use of an ancient language, linked to the Middle East?

My initial reaction was that it was a Mossad operation.

I checked with my contacts in Israel who assured me that this was no mole or sleeper of theirs. I believe them.

I then asked Doug to do a background check on the dead man.

What he found out has given rise to our concerns.

The dead man was called Spencer Matterson. He had been employed in State for nine years. He was unmarried and there are no listed next of kin nor does he appear to be in any same sex relationship.

He was never subjected to any security check. Therefore, how he ever got to be what he was is a mystery. What is more, his background is false. There was no Spencer Matterson who graduated from UCLA. There was no Spencer Matterson, Major US Marine Corp, Purple Heart and Silver Star with cluster. There was no Spencer Matterson born in Sacramento, California.

Everything about this man is false.

On a hunch, Doug’s team extracted several other names from the list and guess what? They too are as false as my teeth. One name, however, did set off the alarm bells.

Melody Anne Field, the First Lady of the United States of America. She, like the others is a phantom.”   

“Now you look here!”

The President was shaken and very angry. “How dare you conduct a covert investigation into my wife without clearing it with me? Well, what the hell is your excuse?”

Orville Wilson had never seen Franklin Burton angry, and despite the man’s diminutive stature, he was intimidating.

“Mr President, we are dealing with a potentially very dangerous situation here and political and other niceties do not figure. We have breaches of security that are without precedent. We have no idea with whom we are dealing and what these people’s intentions are. In fact we have a lot of questions and few answers.” 

The silence in the room was only broken by the ticking of an old carriage clock.

“Orville, I’m sorry for chewing your ear. This is a shock. Tell me, all of you, what you think this is about?”

Pete Schulz stood up and poured himself another cup of coffee.

“Do you have any recorders running?”

The question surprised Frank, who would never have allowed for any secretive recording to take place in his office. Not after what had happened to several of his predecessors.

“If there are, someone will lose their balls. Go on.”

“Frank, we have no idea. But we do know that we have identified several very senior members of the administration who are not who they claim to be. That includes people very close to the Secretary of State and Secretary for Defense, both of whom are close to you.”

“Both of whom I have known most of my political life,” muttered the President.

“Right gentlemen, so we have a situation that appears to be dangerous and potentially very damaging. This is what we are going to do. I want your teams to be treble checked and sworn to secrecy. Move them to a secure location if necessary.

No one outside of them is to know what is going on. Continue your investigations. Get your librarian to come here and see me. He and I will work on the Assyrian content.

I want you to swear to me that you will not reveal anything of this to anyone yet. Once we have some idea of what we are dealing with, then we will advise the relevant people. I’ll speak to Mitch when he gets back.

Mel is my problem to deal with. I want you to out everything you can on her. I can’t grasp she is not what she is, my wife and companion. I cannot accept, yet, that she has betrayed me. 

I want you to concoct some excuse for this meeting. Make notes and briefs and send me copies. That will allay any suspicion.

Thank you all, and let’s get cracking and get to the bottom of this thing.”

The three men stood and left after shaking their leader’s hand.

They had been with the President for 35 minutes. 

Alone again, Frank sat and stared blankly at the ceiling.

He got up and went to the window of the Oval Office. The fog had closed in blotting out any view in a grey, damp swirling blanket. Just like his mind he thought.

That his own wife could be part of some conspiracy hurt him with a pain unlike any he had ever experienced before.

After a while, that hurt started to turn to anger. Anger at betrayal; anger at the fact that some sinister force was conspiring, at the highest levels, to harm the United States of America; anger at the fact that he could not see for what reason.

Whatever it was, he was determined to find out.

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