A Gordian web by Guy Butler
The start instantly intrigued me to read further. Starting with the talk of the Polish freedom fighters against the Nazi forces, one man in particular the Spider or Pajak was particularly instrumental in attacks against the Nazis, and de-stabilising the Russian control. Inevitably the Germans and Russians are quick to gather to bring him down.
The first chapter beginning in 1945. Relatively short chapters keep the novel at a brisk pace, keeping me on my toes and eager to uncover more.
Some may perceive certain elements to be tedious, however I think that it just adds to the plot, giving detail, and of course provides the backdrop of this perilous time.
Reading about these historical characters is provides clear insight to war times, and the people involved.
The characters that are quickly brought into the plot, their unique skills all add to the suspense, the excitement. The author really enables me to get a feel for the characters; all gathering for one cause – to rescue the infamous Spider.
The excitement builds as plans are put into action. While the Spider’s enemies are closing in, Russians trying desperately to kill him. Plenty of action and fighting result, tension builds, and characters amass in all directions.
The author goes into quite explicit detail, creating vivid pictures. The violence mentioned creates exciting scenes, but not over-burdened in violence.
The plot thickens as more elements are added. The subplot surrounding Hitler and preventing him from escaping along with another man that has great influence; and a conspiracy theory takes shape that I have never heard of before – certainly made me wonder…
The author takes you across the European countryside, adding characters along the way introducing new elements.
I also enjoy that some of the influential and expert characters are women, showing their pivotal part in the war. It is easy to get immersed.
A criticism I do have is that considering it’s wartime, I would have thought there would be more action. There are a lot of conversations and planning, although there are some exciting elements, I personally felt there should be more.
The ending did not disappoint, and certainly an interesting take on these Historical events and the conspiracy theories that surround them.
3 ½ stars