Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine spy thriller
Gentleman Traitor by Alan Williams is a spy novel mixing the styles of Ian Fleming and John le Carre. Always a sucker for this type of book, I was intrigued and looking forward to the read. I was not disappointed. Mr Williams creates an explosive opening to the book with a massacre in South Africa. However, the reader has to keep reading to find out the relevance of this...
Published 5 months ago by Wendy Cartmell

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Interesting but a bit boring
Published 1 month ago by Pauline Hunt


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine spy thriller, 26 Mar 2014
This review is from: Gentleman Traitor (Kindle Edition)
Gentleman Traitor by Alan Williams is a spy novel mixing the styles of Ian Fleming and John le Carre. Always a sucker for this type of book, I was intrigued and looking forward to the read. I was not disappointed. Mr Williams creates an explosive opening to the book with a massacre in South Africa. However, the reader has to keep reading to find out the relevance of this attack within the plot.
The story centres around the legendary spy Kim Philby, in exile in Russia and wanting to come in out of the cold, as it were. The book examines Philby’s relationship with journalist Barry Cayle who wants to write a book about Philby. But Philby is more interested in using Cayle to explain to the British public his thoughts and reasoning behind his defection. Philby’s ace card is that he knows the names of high ranking officials within the British establishment who are also Russian spies. Philby is described in somewhat sympathetic terms so much so that the reader actually begins to feel sorry for the old spy. It examines his daily life in Russia, the things he misses from England and the power he has in Russia, being a high ranking officer in the KGB.
Throughout the story is the additional thread of the British Intelligence contingent who are more than a little jittery about Cayle’s involvement with Philby. There is a great deal of politics in the book, but that doesn’t make it a dry read. If anything the examination of the figures in MI5 and MI6 help build an understanding of the attitudes and ideas of the day, greatly enhancing the plot.
There are many twists and turns, with the pace in keeping with the setting, the 1970’s. This is not a high octane read, but a complex plot, with the emphasis on strategy rather than violence, with character always at its heart.
Mr Williams has done a fine job with this novel and clearly writes from a position of knowledge and firsthand experience, making it a powerful read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come in from the cold , go out in the cold!!, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gentleman Traitor (Kindle Edition)
Being of a certain age I remember well the shock/horror of finding that England was nurturing Russian spies. This novel/book fills in a lot of gaps,and raises questions as to whether there are any more "sleepers"?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IN GENEREAL A GOOD READ BUT WITH A TENDANCY TO VEER TO FANTASY ..., 5 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gentleman Traitor (Kindle Edition)
MIKES VIEW

A TALE WITH SUFFICIENT REFERENCES TO REAL EVENTS TO MAKE IT INTERESTING AND RAISE QUESTIONS IN YOUR MIND.
IN GENEREAL A GOOD READ BUT WITH A TENDANCY TO VEER TO FANTASY AT TIMES.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gentleman Traitor (Kindle Edition)
Interesting but a bit boring
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentleman Traitor by Alan Williams, 7 Jan 2014
By 
Caroline (England, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gentleman Traitor (Kindle Edition)
Originally released in 1974, Gentleman Traitor has been re-released in December 2013 by Hashtag Books.

I have to say that Gentleman Traitor was an on/off/on read for me, although I did read this over the busy festive period. The very first chapter gripped me with it's drama and violence, after what was thought to be a group of terrorists entering a busy hotel in Africa, opening fire and killing every soul there, including youngsters! This was quite horrific and at one point in particular with young girls involved, it was quite emotional and tragic.

I just had to read on and longed to find out who was behind this attack. Were the culprits terrorists with serious political issues or could there be some other explanation to this horror? However, the following chapters focused on journalist, Barry Cayle, who was set to write a book on spy and traitor, Kim Philby, who had been living in exile in Russia for the last few years with a reputation of a man who likes a drink or two. Although the initial chapters were of interest and a great basis and background for the remainder of the story, I was a little disappointed that there was no more mention of the event from the first chapter and that the pace of the book was a little slower than I had expected.

The reader follows Cayle's journey through most of the first half of the story and we find out about Philby's desired comeback and the story picks up again at a nice pace as Cayle gets to meet Philby. Alan Williams describes the distances that Philby (and anyone connected to him) needs to make to keep everything under wraps extremely well and clear, making it a nice read to follow at the same time as providing the reader with a more complete picture of Philby's way of life and everything he has to consider before making a move. There are moments in Gentleman Traitor when you simply just don't know what is going to happen and when, making it an intense read at parts.

I like Cayle's enthusiasm and determination to acquaint himself with Philby as much as he can. Cayle knows he is in dangerous waters but he still has this drive to discover as much as he can and to be as close as he can if and when anything should happen. Philby, although a traitor, doesn't seem to be a character the reader dislikes. He has his problems and, knowing he is a hunted man, he has to go to extremes to avoid capture or even death. These events unfold in tragic and disastrous ways for some others, which is incredibly sad and unfortunate for those involved. However, I found myself wanting him to be able to make it through all of this and be able to live the rest of his life in a more relaxed manner and completely disconnected from the British and Russian Establishments.

I must admit a little more speed would have been welcomed during the first section but I must hand it to Alan Williams that he has written this novel well. With a great deal of politics continuing in the background of the main plot, involving the USSR's KGB and the British MI5 and MI6 and also the geographical scope covering Europe and Africa mostly, one cannot doubt that Alan had extensive knowledge in this area. (I have later came to realise that Alan was in fact a great journalist himself, corresponding from across the globe, and at times when tensions must have been high, in Vietnam, for example.) It was also quite exciting to discover that Kim Philby was a real-life spy who did live in Russia. A character I am sure Alan Williams met once, briefly in Beirut. If so, this explains the storyline of Cayle and Philby, i.e. Cayle is possibly a fictional character based on Williams himself.

After hoping for a little more action in the first half, I did find the latter chapters somewhat fast moving and exciting in comparison. This half of the book certainly goes into the details of Philby's 'escape' from Russia. From hijacking planes, travelling through Scandinavia, keeping an extremely low profile and maintaining an alias this second half becomes quite tense and gripping at times! Without wanting to spoil the ending, I have to say that I was surprised at the ending but found it interesting and liked it a great deal. For me, it was left open with a chance to write a sequel, however, I do like the idea that the reader can still ask questions and perhaps make up their own ending. This is not to say that on the most part stories werenft wrapped up, because in many respects they were. The story truly came full circle.

Once I realised that Gentleman Traitor was written in 1974, before I began to read the book, I did consider how I would find the language of the era and questioned whether or not this would be a difficult story to follow. But, as I mentioned above Williams has written this thriller well. It is easy to follow, informative of some political views of the day and well explained. As I was born a good eight years after the original novel, my knowledge of the political states of the countries involved and the espionage that went along with it is very little. For instance, I was aware of the KGB in the USSR but only as I was an avid fan of the fictional tv series 'The Professionals' CI5 (the re-runs in the late 1990s). Many of the episodes focused on foreign politics and MI5/6 and the KGB and more. Gentleman Traitor has made me more interested in the politics of the 1970s, even if just to gain a small background knowledge.

Gentleman Traitor was received gratefully by publisher, Hashtag Books, in return for an honest and fair review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Gentleman Traitor
Gentleman Traitor by Alan Willimas
2.44
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews