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Jack of Spies    by David Downing order for
Jack of Spies
by David Downing
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

David Downing, the author of the popular Station series of spy novels set during and after World War II, has launched a new character and series with this title.

Jack McColl is selling expensive British made autos on an around the world junket while also serving as a neophyte agent for British intelligence. It is 1913 and the clouds of war are forming in Europe, so Jack's cover allows him to see what the potential adversary, Germany, is up to in foreign places like Asia, the U.S. and Mexico.

Along the way Jack meets a nubile American journalist who initiates more bedroom romps than any male has a right to enjoy, and he also uses her to get a line on what the militant Irish might be up to when it comes to stirring up trouble in the Emerald Isle for the British.

Although the storyline meanders and Jack's evolving role as a British spy seems to change as often as his movement from one country to another, this tale does manage to hold one's attention.

In further episodes, though, Jack needs to be more focused and Downing also better make sure that the rift, which occurred at the end of this first novel, between Jack and his American squeeze is settled. Without Caitlin Hanley this series may flounder!

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