Jack of Spies (2014) David Downing

Jack of Spies (Jack McColl, #1)Downing’s new series begins with Jack McColl traveling the perimeter of the 1914 British Empire, promoting sales of his English automobile. This real job soon becomes just his cover and by the end he is a full fledged spy as a full fledged world war is on. Great locations and largely uncovered Imperial players and concerns, both in fiction and non-fiction, come to life. Germans in China, Germans and Americans in the Mexican Revolution, Germans, Americans, and Irish in San Francisco rebuilt from earthquake, Germans and Irish in the Irish independence struggle. It will be interesting to see if McColl will become as cool as Germano-American journalist John Russell in the WW2 books set in Germany and Russia. McColl speaks nine languages. Lets see where that takes him next. Clues: he is a friend of Ghandi from South Africa, Boer War days. His love affair with American journalist crashes badly with him spying on her brother’s involvement with Irish Republican Brotherhood. She will be back! Her friends include IWW radicals, Emma Goldman, and the bohemian set beginning to come into it’s own in Greenwich village.


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