The Paper Caper, Tim Topps

The Paper Caper, Tim Topps

This generally light hearted historical novel is set in the immediate post-war period, when National Service was still in place, even as the war time army was being dismantled. Most of the story takes place in a large military depot in the Midlands, where our hero finds himself serving alongside a series of officers with very varied wartime experience. He soon ends up running the depot newspaper, and in that role ends up being dragged into the hunt for a Soviet sleeper agent believed to be hidden somewhere amongst the staff.

The tone is humorous, although the plot does eventually become more serious towards the crunch point. The feel must be based on the author’s own experience of National Service (presumably without the spy plot!), and one gets the impression of an officer corps that was deliberately enjoying the peacetime life. I’d say the account of life in the peacetime army is the main strength of the book - the spy plot sort of potters along for most of the book, before emerging onto the centre stage towards the end. The result is an entertaining, light hearted and rather fun read. 

Chapters - numbered

Author: Tim Topps
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 320
Publisher: Matador
Year: 20

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