With his first to be published novel, Dan Mayland takes us into the west Asian interior and the nation of Azerbaijan and the turbulent and deadly world of deceit, shady deals, unknown assassins, and a new hero – Mark Sava, ex-CIA but very much the agent in his soul.
Sava finds himself in a dangerous and difficult situation as he seeks to free one of his former agents, Dara Buckingham, who is undercover as an Iranian agent and is herself of Iranian descent who is believed to have a role in the assassination of a former deputy Secretary of Defense. As he works to seek the truth he encounters a devastating attack on the local CIA station that puts him and Dara in even greater danger from both local enemies and unfriendly elements in Washington.
Written in a fast paced and tense style of narrative which reflects the tension and danger in the narrative, The Colonel’s Mistake, is a high stakes and intense work. Mayland’s characters are gritty, real, and very human. Sava’s sidekick John Decker, a man trying to change a general discharge from the Navy SEAL’s into an honorable discharge, and the Azeri minister of National Security, Orkhan Gambar, are two of the memorable characters who illustrate the realism (and some comic relief) in this novel.
Then there is Sava himself. He is not a cerebral and orthodox Jack Ryan of Red October or Patriot Games nor the sophisticated James Bond. He is a tough, gritty, and cynical and more in the vain of Jason Bourne.
I liked this book for its plot line and setting and I think that Mayland gives us a glimpse into some reality in a part the world that is little known in the west. I plan to read the next in the series to see how Mayland develops Sava.
On my very unscientific rating scale, I rate this book a “good” read.
The Colonel’s Mistake is to be published August 2012 by Thomas and Mercer Publishing.
Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.