A twist on the “Upcoming” posts that I frequently write, I’m going to start posting a few more of these – looking at novels that are already out that I really want to read. Some of these will be recently-released books that I just happened to miss, but I’ll also be featuring older titles that I’ve only just stumbled across, or have been meaning to read for years.
I’ve never read anything by David Downing, and I’m not really sure why. It is probably just down to the fact that I get so many books these days that, if it doesn’t arrive in the post, or isn’t from an established series that I’ve been following for some time, I often just can’t get around to it. David Downing, however, I have been aware of (he is the author of the Station series of spy novels), just never had the money to buy the books when I was reminded of them. Jack Of Spies may just change this. It is the first in a new World War I espionage series, and it sounds really good:
Jack McColl is a globe-trotting salesman for a luxury car firm. He is also a part-time spy for the fledgling Secret Service on the eve of the First World War, doing London’s bidding wherever internal or external enemies threaten the security of the British Empire. As 1913 ends he is in China, checking out the German naval base at Tsingtao between automobile demonstrations in Peking and Shanghai. Caitlin Hanley is a young Irish-American journalist with the sort of views that most British men would find dangerously advanced. McColl is no exception, but once captivated he finds himself unwilling to give her up – even when Caitlin’s radical politics and family connections threaten to compromise his undeclared career as a spy. Then the pair become involved in a plot that threatens the Empire in its hour of greatest need…
I’m very intrigued by this. Anyone read it? Also, how great is that cover?