Author Peter Lewis’s novel Ensnared follows one man’s dramatic life as a bus driver caught in the snare of a terrorist smuggling ring. Lewis’ main character, also named Peter, secures a dependable job as a bus driver for an English touring company. At first, the position allows Peter to see the English and Irish countryside and get a break from his ambivalent wife, but after meeting Mary, a married hotel worker in Limerick, Peter realizes his ordered life may not be as neat as he expected.
His relationship with Mary soon puts him in the way of I.R.A operatives, men who think Peter would be the perfect person to deliver illegal packages to England. Peter and Mary realize that this new arrangement is untenable, and they escape, leaving their respective marriages and beginning a life on the run.
The plot, in a brief outline such as this, sounds promising, but Lewis’ first-person narrative barely hangs together. Frequent grammar errors and a complete absence of correct paragraph indentations render the novel difficult to read on a mechanical level. Poor characterization, wooden dialogue (“Yes, I heard about that,” Frank said, “that must have been frightening for you”; “Yes, it was Frank, but look, I must get on my way, (sic) see you soon.”), and plot developments that are impossible to believe further obstruct the reading experience.
Although Lewis lives in England and went to school “in the north of Ireland,” according to the bio on the back cover of the book, his descriptions of the Irish countryside are either simplistic or nonexistent. The plot does advance, albeit haltingly, but there is little else to recommend this poorly conceived, and executed, novel.