Review of the #historicalnovel Spy Trap from A.P. Martin #WWII #thriller #bookreview

spy trap

Title: Spy Trap

Author: A.P. Martin

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Published: 6 October 2017

~ Blurb ~

‘There’s a fellow who will soon have some rather important documents that we need to get back to Britain safely. How would you fancy the job of making sure he gets there with them?’ Bill Blake is a spy at the end of his tether. He just wants to go home, wherever that is now. Despite his genuine reservations, he’s forced to accept one final mission to earn his ticket back to Britain. However, what should have been a straightforward ‘babysitting’ job becomes much more difficult and dangerous with the rapid Fall of France and the effective surrounding of Switzerland by hostile Axis forces. Blake finds himself trapped in the neutral, but threatened Alpine Republic with an ex Naval Gunnery Officer who is in possession of plans and blueprints vital to Britain’s ability to defend herself. An instant mutual antipathy between the two men complicates matters as they grapple with the frequent necessity to alter their escape plans, the ever present risk of betrayal and a relentless pursuit by German Military Intelligence. Adapted from little known true events, Spy Trap takes the reader on their epic struggle to deliver to Britain the ability to produce a weapon which would be vital to her survival and ultimate victory.

~ Review ~

Although I’m a history geek who is more than a tiny bit obsessed with WWII, this novel is based upon a true story of which I had no knowledge. *Rubs hands in glee* The historical story itself is quite interesting. I enjoyed following the characters on their adventure from Switzerland to Istanbul and beyond. I did feel the story got bogged down in tiny details a bit too often, but in general I kept reading as I was curious where the story would end up.

The historical information and background could have been weaved into the story in a more seamless manner as the provision of information via dialogue often makes the character dialogue unrealistic. In general, there’s a bit too much telling and not enough showing for my liking. This sometimes makes the story a bit mundane to read. As someone who has lived in Istanbul (and Heidelberg for that matter), the descriptions of the city were often inaccurate. For example, the Park Hotel does not overlook the Grande Rue (it’s a hundred meters or so down the road from Taksim). I found this section of the novel difficult to read as I was often disturbed with these inaccuracies.

The writing could use some editing. The overuse (and sometimes incorrect) use of commas, the improper use of adverbs, and switches in tenses interrupt the flow of the story but could easily be corrected with the use of an editor.

Overall, an interesting historical read.

~ About the Author ~

spy trap 2

I hail from the North of England and, since taking early retirement from my academic post, I’ve really enjoyed immersing myself in reading and writing. Essentially, I read purely for pleasure, and my single goal in writing is to produce books that people will thoroughly enjoy as a ‘cracking story.’

My first two novels are historical fiction, a genre which, in my view, almost always benefits from a close connection to something that actually happened. The inspiration for my first two books, Codename Lazarus and Spy Trap, came from little known, but truly incredible events from the Second World War. It gave me huge pleasure to adapt the courageous actions of two unsung heroes, into what, I hope, readers have experienced as exciting thrillers.

My third novel, the soon to be published Sentence of Death, represents an exciting new direction for me. It’s a crime thriller, set on Tyneside in the summer of 2016. Strangely, the basic framework for this book also comes from a real event in Gateshead at that time. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of crime fiction, and I do hope that readers of this book will agree that I’ve created an original plot for their entertainment.

Currently, I’m beginning work on my fourth book, for which I have returned to the more familiar territory of the Second World War. As yet untitled, it will once again take a virtually unknown, but extremely important story of bravery, and try to adapt it into a thrilling adventure story.

Details of all my work and updates on my progress can be found on my website at There is also a facility on the website for you to send me a private message and to sign up for a quarterly newsletter. It would be great to hear from you, either via the website, or via GoodReads!



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