*** Now available in paperback!
Publisher: Soho Crime (July, 2015)
Kindle edition: $ 9.61
Press, May 2014
by Larry Jung
Jack McColl sells luxury
cars and travels extensively to
do so. This makes
him the perfect man to
some amateur spy work for the British Admiralty.
As a patriotic Englishman, McColl can’t
actual and potential,
to the British Empire are coming to a head by 1913 – 1914. The greatest potential
threat is from Germany
and its battle fleet. At
for a free Ireland and independent India threaten the foundations of
Empire. Spy work
also appeals to
McColl’s sense of adventure and romance.
It is quite a thrill to scope out German harbor
defenses in Tsingtau and
use prostitutes at the local Chinese brothel to discover what the
fleet’s battle plans will be in the Pacific if world war broke out. McColl has become a little
too smug that he has
fooled the Germans until he is stabbed, then chased out of China.
From China, McColl’s next port is San Francisco in the
United States. Here
his two brothers,
also in the car business, are busy showing off the luxury car to
buyers. McColl is
busy with a new
assignment. He is
to watch the local
Irish community for activities supporting Irish home rule. McColl has fallen in love
Caitlin Hanley. She is an Irish
sympathizer, and McColl shamelessly uses her to spy on the activists
for a free Ireland. With
a second attempt on McColl’s life, this
time in his San Francisco hotel room, he is no longer under any
illusion that the
spy game is played
by gentlemen rules.
McColl “…wondered if the Germans would persist in their
efforts to kill him. There
reason they shouldn’t; spies weren’t like grouse – there was no
for bumping them off. The
just keep trying until they succeeded, which was rather a chilling
thought.” (page 137)
By the end of JACK
OF SPIES, Jack McColl has taken the reader to China, America,
London, and finally Dublin. At
felt the story was padded with names of streets and landmarks that
much to the story. For
failed to convey the mystery and romance of foreign places. I’m sure the author has
done his homework and
even been (and lived) in the locations in the story.
But with so many locations, I felt like I was
on a tour bus looking out the window at the sights.
The plot, unlike the changes of scenery,
moves with a deliberate pace, more John
Higgins. The book
is not a page-turner,
but it has its moments. Sex
* The above review is based on
the hardcover edition.
Over My Dead Body! Online.