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


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.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.