John Day: Spy on Spy

Spy on SpySpy on Spy by John Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a standalone book and is set in 1943 during WW2. However, this is not really a ‘war’ book and will also appeal to readers of Thrillers, Action and Adventure and Drama. Many of the reviews have tagged this as a Spy Thriller but I am not sure what category to put it in I think it could appeal to many people even readers of nonfiction. A phenomenal amount of research must have gone into this book and it is a complicated story with a lot going on. If you are a speed reader I recommend that you read this a little more slowly as there are clues that seem irrelevant at the time that are very relevant further along the story.
The characters are developed steadily throughout the book in such a way that a character you hate at the beginning grows on you to become likeable as the book progresses. The main theme of the story is the work spies did on all sides during WW2 that affected the outcome of the war.
The book begins with a realistic example of how spies were interrogated and killed during the war for their secrets and sometimes committed suicide to ensure those secrets remained secret.
The story starts with a German spy who was tasked with a project that he completed successfully and was then transferred to Alderney to implement the project. It is from here that the story gets more complicated with aliases and traitors and many other things going on. The main character is Karl Strom who amazingly survived an assassination attempt but the British believe was killed. He is the aforementioned spy and is sent to Alderney to train a team to implement his project.
Karl, in common with many spies, is a secretive person with few interpersonal skills and very little patience. He finds himself on an Island with depleted resources including food and fuel and has to pick his team from a list of people with very little motivation to undertake anything outside their comfort zone.

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