This is Dan Mayland’s first published book as far as I can tell and it was a pleasant surprise. I won this book from yet again another Goodreads.com First Reads giveaway so I was actually a little hesitant to start this one. I signed up for it based on the description rather than the book title as I felt, and still do feel the title needs a rework (I’ll explain later).
The story follows a retired CIA operative named Mark Sava as he works to stop a nuclear device from getting into the wrong hands. It’s a fairly typical story for an action drama set in the middle east, but somehow Mayland makes the story interesting. Perhaps he provided just enough believable details about the places Sava’s character visits and the people he meets that it’s just believable to keep my interest. I don’t typically enjoy stories like this, namely because I prefer living in worlds that could never exist (i.e. I don’t like books about reality). Needless to say, the book was great. There was lots of action, suspense, mystery, and a little bit of humor, just a little, to keep me going.
My only complaint was nearing the end of the book, Sava’s character seemed to become a surfer at some point, saying “dude” more than I would expect a former CIA operative who is getting up there in age would. I just couldn’t picture him saying “dude” in the context it was used in the situations used. Perhaps the young gun he hired I could see him using it, but it just didn’t fit and he didn’t seem to say it throughout the book. Certainly not a reason to push a review of the book to the negative, however.
I even liked the ending. Too often, this style of book ends with a lead into the next book rather than building a believable ending. I won’t give anything away, but the ending is solid and I see Mayland does have a sequel to this story called The Leveling which I’ll have to be sure to read as well to find out what else Mark Sava is going to do. Perhaps I’ll even win it in another giveaway via Goodreads.com.
I highly recommend this book as it is a great read and you’ll not be disappointed, unless you hate decent books. I rated this book with 4 of 5 stars.
I almost forgot to explain my dislike for the title. Throughout the story I kept wondering about the mistake the Colonel was going to make. You do figure out the mistake he made and it is apparent, but it still seemed a bit strange to make the title of the story about the Colonel who is not the main character. I don’t have a good alternative title, but it just didn’t work for me. Just don’t let the title stop you from reading the book, though.