Well, Mark Sava, former CIA operative is back at it. But this time he, and his girlfriend Daria Buckingham are operating out of Kyrgyzstan instead of Azerbaijan where they had been working until they were asked to leave. After a day of relaxing in a local Chinese restaurant playing narde, a backgammon like game, he comes home only to have Daria receive word that an orphan has been taken from an orphanage she has been working on behalf of. Know one knows why until Sava intercepts the kidnappers and begins to unravel the reason behind the kidnapping. The result is a new adventure for Sava and company which takes him and his buddy Decker across the roof of the world to Bahrain and a dangerous journey in which Sava’s past plays a critical role.
Spy For Hire is Mayland’s newest Mark Sava novel and features the former CIA operative and station chief in this third installment dealing with the usual types of spy characters but with a twist – his personnel file has been compromised by American intelligence, one of his family member is being used as a pawn to get the boy returned, and the organization he has been working for is involved in the situation. Eventually he gets the truth from an American Naval officer and it reveals a seriously volatile situation which could undo American foreign and military relations not just in and with Bahrain but the entire Middle East as well as placing the life of a family member in a life or death situation.
I liked Mayland’s first two novels in this series, The Colonel’s Mistake, and The Leveling and I liked this one as well. Fast paced with many twists and turns plus the on-going tension between Sava and the Langley brass, a Spy for Hire is a worthy read. What makes this piece stand out from the other two is a. the stakes for American interests is higher and the key reason for the kidnapping is well hidden until late in the book which ratchet ups the tension and the stakes and b. we get a new glimpse into Sava’s life and history. But it is the same quality of writing and narrative that I have enjoyed from the beginning of the series.
I rate this book a ‘very good’ read and look forward to the next installment.
Note: I received a galley copy of this book, from the publisher Thomas and Mercer via NetGalley.com in exchange for review. I was not required to write a positive review.