Eve Karlin, TRACK 61

Nazis in NYC? Tall Tales or Truth? Read the new historical novel by Eve Karlin

by Angie Orenstein

Eve Karlin


“The best historical fiction effortlessly transports you to another time and place. Karlin creates a love story between Peter and Grete, rich in complication and heartbreak, which will grab you from the beginning and keep you guessing until the end. And maybe best of all, you’ll never again walk through New York’s Grand Central Terminal and not wonder about its secretive, subterranean backstory.”

—Amanda M. Fairbanks, author of The Lost Boys of Montauk

Eve Karlin’s German-Jewish grandmother used to watch her and her sister build sandcastles on Amagansett Beach, the same stretch of sand on Long Island’s East End where Nazi saboteurs stepped ashore in the summer of 1942.

This local legend, actually a true story, made so incredibly vivid by her grandmother, inspired Karlin to write Track 61, a suspenseful romance adventure novel brilliantly woven together with a World War II spy thriller. “To me, that’s the magic of historical fiction, reshaping history for an audience who might not read dry non-fiction accounts.,” said Karlin. “Having grown up in a house just steps away from where the saboteurs actually landed, I have a strong personal connection to the story. I shared an Amagansett beach house with my maternal grandparents, German-Jews who had fled Hitler.”


The story of Track 61 is told through the eyes of Grete, a character based on Karlin’s grandmother. Grete is a young Jewish refugee struggling with loneliness and loss who has recently immigrated from Germany to New York where she meets Peter, one of the Nazi saboteurs, at a midtown parade. Grete is drawn to Peter’s brooding vulnerability and the pair instantly bond. But as Grete uncovers the truth about Peter and his secret mission ten stories below Grand Central Terminal, she finds herself tackling moral decisions with life-threatening consequences. Compassion powers Track 61 as Karlin’s novel moves beyond the details of the plot to inspire us to contemplate deeper questions, along the lines of how can good can co-exist with evil? And do national borders make heroes or determine traitors?


NYC’s Grand Central Station was the intended target of the Nazi saboteurs luckily the real-life crew who landed in Amagansett never made it there. Today Track 61 is famous, not just for surviving a plot to destroy it but this unappealing, dimly lit, industrial track beneath the Waldorf Astoria has earned notoriety as a private train platform used by U.S. Presidents, notably Franklin D. Roosevelt who is said to have accessed the hidden platform to hide the progression of his case of polio. There’s a rumor that Track 61 though it is supposedly abandoned, is still ready in case any Presidents visiting the Big Apple need to make a quick and of course, secret subterranean getaway.


Eve Karlin’s “Track 61” from Coffeetown Press will be published in June 2022, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nazi saboteur landing in Amagansett. Paperback, $16.95.

BookHampton Launch Party

June 18, Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

41 Main Street
East Hampton, NY
PHONE: (631) 324-4939


Eve Karlin lives in East Hampton with her husband and triplets. She is a bookseller at BookHampton where she runs the book club and the local author program. Author of a the novel City of Liars and Thieves, she is a recipient of the 2021 James Patterson Holiday Bookseller bonus awarded by the American Booksellers Association. Keep an eye out for her in August at East Hampton Library’s Authors Night.