Glenn Dyer’s THE ULTRA BETRAYAL is a classic spy thriller, with all the adrenaline-fueled action scenes, daring rescues, brave and resourceful secret agents (both male and female), and plot twists that such a thriller demands. Ian Fleming would likely approve, and in fact shows up as a character at a couple of points- though the spies in this book are a bit more realistic than Bond, relying more on thoughtful planning and teamwork than on fancy gadgets and lone-wolf heroics.
The author has clearly done his research, and the historical setting is accurately-presented and thoroughly immersive. His hero and heroine, agents Conor Thorn and Emily Bright, are a well-matched pair, both intelligent, capable, thoroughly honorable, and easy to root for. Conor has the reckless, throw-a-match-in-the-powder-keg-and-see-what-happens attitude of the typical dashing spy hero, without going too far overboard and losing the professional competence, focus, and clarity of thought also necessary for a believable spy. Emily suits her last name, being bright, independent, and skilled, a valuable, capable agent and a well-developed character in her own right, not merely an appendage or a cardboard love interest for Conor. Their task is clearly of absolutely vital importance, especially for those readers who know what the Enigma project was worth to the Allied war effort, and the stakes are quite high enough to fuel the action. This is clearly a key moment in history, when things could have gone in quite other directions than they did, with drastic consequences for the world as a whole. We’re given enough intriguing hints about other such possibilities to spark the imagination and speculations about what might-have-been, though the story stays true to the historical reality.
Other more personal and human concerns balance the world-changing stakes of the main story, but feel no less important to the characters involved, or to the reader. Real historical figures, from Heinrich Himmler to Kim Philby to Alan Turing, wander through the story, all of them with their actions and personalities drawn apparently accurately from life. There’s plenty of action here, and some well-designed plot twists that are just hinted at enough for the astute reader to have a chance of figuring things out, without giving too much away before the final revelations. All in all, it’s an enjoyable and lively read, particularly for those who enjoy military history and classic spy movies.
Glenn Dyer’s THE ULTRA BETRAYAL is a historically-accurate, action-packed World War II spy thriller with enough daring adventure and carefully-prepared plot twists to keep the reader avidly turning pages until the final conclusion.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader