The Janitor and the Spy by S W Ellenwood: snappy and energetic

The Janitor and the Spy by S W Ellenwood


Baby wipes are not the best at cleaning up blood, or what happened to Thornhill in Amsterdam.

They told Thornhill it would be a simple spy mission that he was more than eager to take on, but of course, it wasn’t.

It didn’t take long after meeting the contact for Thornhill to question if he or anyone else connected to him was going to be able to make it out of Amsterdam alive. Passing strangers on the streets became potential hitmen and dinner with criminals became a safe haven as Thornhill seeks to find answers from an old man named Golay.


My review

I must start with an apology to the author and the book tour organiser. I’m a day late posting this review due to a date muddle entirely on my part. I shall make sure not to be so organisationally challenged again.

This is a snappy and energetic read, high on intrigue. Our hero, Thomas Thornhill, is a seasoned spy but even he is a little daunted by this latest mission. He is to retrieve some papers from an old contact, but things don’t go to plan. The contact, Golay, gives him the runaround, a colleague disappears and even Thornhill’s minder seems to be at risk.

I especially like how details about Thornhill emerge indirectly as the novella proceeds. For example, he’s a bit particular about what he eats and it’s important to him to look the part. He also reveals a softer side that’s not been completely hardened by his line of business. He will kill if he needs to, but he can show compassion to those that deserve it.

Thornhill travels from America to Amsterdam, where all the excitement starts, then back to America but his work isn’t over yet. There are some super twists, and some poignancy, at the end, which definitely leave the reader wanting to find out what’s going to happen next.

We meet an interesting cast of characters, all nicely delineated and memorable. The settings are persuasive and detailed, and very atmospheric. The plot is well thought out and lively. In summary, a snappy, enjoyable read.


Purchase Links

UK –

US –


Author bio 

S. W. Ellenwood is thankful to have a close-knit family of two parents, a brother, and two sisters. A home-schooler who graduated college from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Ellenwood loves all forms and genres of stories and was inspired by The Lord of the Rings films and his parents to write. You can find Ellenwood writing his next novel at the local coffee shops or playing table top games with his best friends.

Social Media Links