by Sydney Horler
ebook: 280 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: 1936; Nov. 3, 2015
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
August 1918. On his way to the Western Front, Captain Alan Clinton spends a night in Paris with a young Frenchwoman, Marie Roget. Marie steals British military secrets that Clinton had with him – with disastrous consequences.
Seventeen years later. The central European state of Ronstadt is ruled by the ruthless dictator Kuhnreich, and Europe is inching towards another war. Clinton’s son Bobby travels to Europe as the political situation grows tenser, and seems dangerously close to repeating the sins of his father. Only his girlfriend can prove his innocence. This new edition of The Traitor gives contemporary readers a long overdue chance to rediscover an early thriller that is plotted with dash and verve – a novel that helps to explain the author’s phenomenal popularity in his own time.
The Traitor is a spy thriller that was originally written in 1936. It's set in 1918 and 1935 in England, France, and "Ronstadt" (Germany). The reader knows who the bad guys are, so we watch as first the father and then the son fall prey to the schemes of the evil spies. It's like watching a train wreck or a movie where you shout, "no, don't open that door!" I personally prefer uncertainty over a feeling of doom. I would have enjoyed not knowing for sure and guessing along with Bobby about what's going on. Ah, well. It had plenty of tension.
The first parts of the story were Alan and then Bobby getting caught in the enemy's trap. The last part was a trial against Bobby, who is accused of being a traitor. Bobby's girlfriend is smart, determined, and trustworthy. I loved her. She has a piece of evidence that might prove Bobby's innocence, but first she has to figure out how to unlock its secret. Will she figure it out in time and reveal the true traitor? I found Bobby and Alan to be likable, too, so I was rooting for them. They were naive, not stupid or careless.
There was a fair amount bad language. There were no sex scenes. I'd recommend this thriller to those who enjoy the feeling of doom in their stories.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.