Jack of Spies by David Downing

Jack of Spies

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

The year is 1913. Tensions are rising in Europe and Jack McColl, auto salesman and part-time spy for the British Empire, must flee China when an attempt is made on his life. Things get dicey when he is tapped to track a German national across the globe and meets Caitlin, feminist journalist and sibling of one of the leaders of the Irish Independence Movement. When his handlers learn who her family is, Jack is forced to choose between the woman he loves and his loyalty to the British Crown, a choice that will have far-reaching consequences.

Jack of Spies by David Downing is an amusing spy novel set in the earliest days of the 20th Century. Downing paints an entertaining picture of what spycraft was like before the age of fast cars and high-tech gadgets. Relying primarily on historical context, his character Jack McColl is what James Bond might have been like had he practiced his craft in a pre-World War I world. I look forward to future entries in this series and happily give this book 4/5 stars.

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