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Glenn Dyer
The Ultra Betrayal
Glenn Dyer, author
One man’s dark deal with the Nazis could bring the Allies to their knees… Autumn, 1942. Rule breaker OSS Agent Conor Thorn is assigned a mission to help the Allied war effort when a key Swedish cryptographer stationed in England goes missing. Thorn is determined to find him before critical information falls into enemy hands, but when his MI6 colleague vanishes trailing the code-breaker to Stockholm, Thorn is plunged yet again into a sinister Nazi conspiracy. Can Thorn stop prized secrets from triggering more wartime carnage? The Ultra Betrayal is the second novel in the thrilling Conor Thorn spy series. If you like harrowing historical drama, riveting espionage, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Glenn Dyer’s well-researched World War II adventure.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10


Plot: The Ultra Betrayal is well-structured and delivers its contents in a masterfully executed manner without over-relying on a single component of the plot mechanics.

Prose/Style: This is an exceptionally well-told story that captivates the readers. The author's use of language and flow is refreshing, making for a truly engrossing read.

Originality: The story and its writing showcase Dyer’s diligent research into the era, allowing  the author to paint a gripping and mesmerizing World War II thriller vividly and convincingly.

Character Development: The characters are realistic, relatable, and memorable to the readers. There is a believable progression of development, action, and behaviors, and the use of real historic figures bolsters the storytelling and the invented characters.

Date Submitted: July 16, 2020

Conor Thorn, a spy for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, and Emily Bright, his counterpart in England’s MI6, reunite for their richly detailed second WWII adventure (after The Torch Betrayal). In 1942, the Allies' greatest weapon may be Ultra, the deciphered German codes, so when Swedish cryptographer Gunnar Lind disappears from England with intimate knowledge of them, Thorn and Bright team up to slip into neutral Sweden and find him—before the Germans do. Double crosses abound as the spies vie with Germans, Swedes, and Russians. There are personal agendas as well, especially for Thorn, who learns that his late wife may have been raped by a man he knows, and the intersections of private and public obligations add exciting twists to the plot.

Dyer keeps the story moving with short chapters that bounce quickly among various locations. Most chapters contain some kind of action—the torture scenes are not for the weak of heart—and end on cliff-hangers, keeping the reader’s blood pumping. The international cast is large and lively. Indeed, many minor characters come and go so quickly it's often hard to keep track of them. However, Thorn and Bright and the other main characters are fully fleshed out, with a wide array of virtues, faults, and motives that help to develop the tension.

The author's nimble integration of historical and fictional characters puts the spy story in context and amps up the suspense. Winston Churchill, Heinrich Himmler, and OSS chief “Wild Bill” Donovan all make appearances, including in intimate scenes such as one of Himmler forming a curious relationship with his physical therapist. The Swedish setting is unusual for a WWII novel and lends a welcome freshness. Vibrant descriptions and meticulous historical details do much to make this an especially rewarding and believable spy story.

Takeaway: Fans of WWII suspense novels will be thrilled by this action-packed story’s richly detailed settings and complex characters.

Great for fans of Alistair MacLean’s The Guns of Navarone, John le Carré.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: -
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B+