Sunday, August 18, 2013

Goyer and Yorkey's "The Swiss Courier" - a thrilling escape

They had me fooled - more than once.  I can't believe I didn't see it coming!

Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey write a brilliant WWII suspense The Swiss Courier, about intelligence agents in Germany and Switzerland working to smuggle a brilliant, naive scientist into Allied hands before the Gestapo capture him.

The Swiss CourierThe novel starts out with seemingly scattered story lines - obviously related, but thus far unconnected.  From our heroine, Gabi Mueller, as she undertakes her first field mission, to Swiss operatives smuggling escaped prisoners across the border, to the young, upcoming scientist Joseph Engel who is unwittingly of Jewish descent, to agents working both sides of the war, and to the evil Gestapo major Sturmbannfuhrer Bruno Kassler.  As the plot winds on, the story lines grow closer and closer together, until they meet in a thrilling climax.  At first it seemed a bit slow, since everything was still fairly scattered, but everything that happens is important for establishing roles, connections, motives, and the final plan of action. 

Suspense and mystery are not synonymous; this is not a mystery, but it is suspense.  We know almost everything of what is going on, so we feel the thrill, the confusion, the danger - the innocent student is busily working on his equations, little knowing that the Allies are forming a plan to smuggle him out, but the Gestapo is about to knock on the door.   And even when it seems everything has been laid out on the table, the authors can still pull one over on the reader!  I was impressed by their ability to write a good suspense while still throwing in a surprise here and there.  I guess that's what makes it a great suspense!

As far as Christian themes go, there was not a lot outside of some of the characters professing Christ; there was no big lesson to be learned or strong message of faith, but at least some of the characters seemed to genuinely rely on God, especially in such uncertain times where the chances of getting caught far exceeded the chances of survival. 

I found the novel to be a thrilling escape from the modern world as the characters eluded Nazis and even their own countrymen.  4 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment