Swain_Ape1 Swain_Ape3 Swain_Ape2
Full Name: A. P. 'Ape' Swain
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Adventurer

Creator: Daniel Da Cruz
Time Span: 1975 - 1976


Ape Swain is an adventurer.

For all his life, Swain has had that name. While he has at times been called Alfred Paul or Anthony Phillip or Arthur Patrick or others, it is always with the A.P. initials, hence the nickname of Ape.

Of course the fact that his arms were much longer than normal and his legs were considerably shorter than normal gave him a decidedly apish appearance, especially with the hairy arms, chest, and back that he had had since puberty. Now at 34, he was resigned to the strange reaction he routinely got from people and used their unease and underestimating to his advantage. If people wanted to get the mistaken idea that he might be brutish and slow and, best of all, dim-witted, who was he to prove how wrong they were before he had made a profit off their mistake.

The three-book series about Ape Swain is a strange one. He most certainly is not a secret agent for any government but he does deal in international intrigue so he has a place here. But readers looking for standard spy-fi motivations may be surprised by Ape's 'what's it worth to you?' attitude. Ape is a businessman first, last, and only. Politics is just something that gets in the way.

Swain starts off the series a worker-bee, following orders like everyone else but opportunity knocks and Swain shows that he is as smart as he is resourceful and he takes advantage of it. That changes the series considerably but Swain's ability to get the job done, and to find some way to make a decent profit doing it, stays just as strong. And while he eventually becomes wealthy enough to hire people like he used to be to get the job done, he is a take-charge guy and would not dream of it.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1976

1 The Landfall Finesse The Landfall Finesse
Written by Daniel Da Cruz
Copyright: 1975

Ape Swain has two big problems facing him as he and his boss head to Libya to help install a new government better suited to negotiations. Other Libyans are not pleased with the plan and his boss feels Abe knows too much to stay alive.

2 The Pipe Dream Finesse The Pipe Dream Finesse
Written by Daniel Da Cruz
Copyright: 1975

When Ape Swain decides to take part in a scheme to smuggle people out from behind the Iron Curtain, he also decides to go for broke in order to make a terrific profit. That is why he is planning to rescue 77 dissidents, a dozen high-level government officials now on the outs, and even a troupe of musicians and dancers.

3 The Captive City The Captive City
Written by Daniel Da Cruz
Copyright: 1976

Several thousand Americans have been held captive in an Emirate, all a part of a crazed plan which the U.S. government seems unwilling to challenge. In his biggest contract yet, Ape Swain is hired to parachute into that region and get the hostages out.


While these three books are enjoyable from an action-adventure viewpoint, the wide discontinuity between the first and the last two is startling. I enjoyed the first one though I had no idea where it was going, and felt the author didn't either. The second one was alright but quite a bit out there. The third, though, made me see how much fun Swain could really be. I hope to re-read all three together because I think it would make the series so much better. I would recommend people reading this one do the same - get all three and then enjoy!


My Grade: C

Your Average Grade:   A+


Dave618 A+ 3/27/2014 7:25:41 PM

Discovered this series thanks to this website! Da Cruz is a first rate writer, no hack. Ape Swain is quite an enigmatic character. The writer's style reminds me a bit of Ross Thomas, but Da Cruz's style can be a tad harder to follow. I really like Swain and the fact that with him, the bottom line is the dollar. Forget national or party loyalty--it's those funny little green pieces of paper that matter. And, you know, that's far more realistic as to how the real world actually operates. The plots could be a tad simpler to follow, but the books are really fun and imaginative--Swain is an original character not quite like any other. He is somewhat of a under-the-radar sharpshooter who plots these larger than life capers and swindles and somehow manages to pull them off. I wish Da Cruz would have been recognized for his talent and Ape could have had many more adventures, but such are the vagaries of the publishing world.

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