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Sunday 19 November 2017

Espionage London by John Day

Told from both a British and German perspective, this was an interesting approach to a second-world-war spy thriller. Set in 1943, a quartet of young spies, led by Karl Strom, is sent by Hitler to set up devastating system that would, he thinks, ensure a positive outcome for Germany.

There is a lot of intrigue, twists and turns, and action. The characterisation is mostly good…a couple of characters are a tad unbelievable…the action scenes are compelling, and the wartime scene-setting is competent.

Day must have done a good deal of scientific and engineering research to make the device the spies are to plant so very credible, an element that contributes to a mostly engaging thriller.

What didn’t work for me was that the spies took on assumed names—obviously. Whilst the plot characters required them to be known by these names, I think the narrator should have referred to them by their ‘real’ names. It was a tad confusing. Secondly, the romantic element didn’t quite convince me. It seems one night between the sheets was enough to declare never-ending love for two couples, at least.

There are some serious editing issues, but nothing that can’t, hopefully, be fixed by a good editor.

John le CarrĂ© has no competition here, I’ll be honest, but it’s a decent espionage thriller that keeps you turning the pages right to the end.

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