Author(s): Tim Shorrock
Series: Mark Sava #3
Published by Simon & Schuster on 02/18/2014
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Azerbaijan didn’t want him. And now Kyrgyzstan may not be able to handle Mark Sava either. The ex–CIA station chief has settled into a new, easy life as a spy for hire. But then his girlfriend, Daria, discovers the private intelligence agency employing Sava is connected to a strange plot involving a mysterious orphan.
As Saudi intelligence agents and the CIA seek out the boy for their own ends, Sava and Daria call on old friend and ex–Navy SEAL John Decker to protect the child while they dig for the truth. Soon Sava has a front-row seat to a black ops war between the CIA, US Naval Intelligence, and foreign forces—and the boy is somehow the key to victory. Sava just wants to find the child a good home, but can he do so before his own broken past proves his undoing?
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Mark Sava, John Decker and friends must protect a small orphan being used as a pawn in a turf war between governmental agencies. Spy for Hire is a straight up action thriller and for fans of the genre it ticks off all the boxes you would expect.
The story itself is about as cookie cutter spy/action thriller as you get. It isn’t bad mind you, just a bit ho-hum. The good guys are clever and often manage to outwit their adversaries and there is some good action with a few plot twists thrown in to keep you on your toes. The only real problem with the plot twists is that they are completely telegraphed. You see where the twists are going almost as soon as they are introduced and readers of the genre will find very few surprises. Additionally there are problems with the sub-plots. Mayland introduces events and side characters that he never really follows up with. There are long periods where the plot hook, meaning the orphaned boy, is not heard from and it isn’t clear where he is or what is happening to him. While I am fine with a book having multiple sub-plots running in and out of the main story these have to be kept up. It is a problem when the author introduces something and then just drops it
The other issue I have with the book are the characters, well sort of. The main characters, Sava and Decker are fine and just what you would want from this type of story. It’s the supporting cast where the issues come up. The biggest problem is Daria who I genuinely liked and was really the impetus for the book kicking into gear, and Mayland just lets her fade out half way through the book. While she is the biggest instance of this she is not the only one. Mayland tends to use characters as plot points rather than as actual characters.
The book moves at a fast enough pace and the writing is competent but as a whole the book is a little dull and really didn’t do much for me. For fans of the spy thriller genre looking for a book this is fine but it won’t knock off your socks.
Review by Travis Starnes