It is 1913, and those who follow the news closely can see the world is teetering on the brink of war. Jack McColl, a Scottish car salesman with an uncanny ear for languages, has always hoped to make a job for himself as a spy. As his sales calls take him from city to great city - Hong Kong to Shanghai to San Francisco to New York - he moonlights collecting intelligence for His Majesty's Navy, but British espionage is in its infancy and Jack has nothing but a shoestring budget and the very tenuous protection of a boss in faraway London. He knows, though, that a geopolitical catastrophe is brewing, and now is both the moment to prove himself and the moment his country needs him most.
Unfortunately, this is also the moment he begins to realize what his aspiration might cost him. He understands his life is at stake when activities in China suddenly escalate from innocent data-gathering and casual strolls along German military concessions to arrest warrants and knife attacks. Meanwhile, a sharp, vivacious American suffragette journalist has wiled her way deep into his affections, and it is not long before he realizes that her Irish American family might be embroiled in the Irish Republican movement Jack's bosses are fighting against. How can he choose between his country and the woman he loves? And would he even be able to make such a choice without losing both?
©2014 David Downing (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
The place and time were fascinating but the narration was so slow and halting that I had to speed it up to 1.25 and 1.50. I have never before adjusted the speed of an Audible book.
The setting was fascinating, particularly the Asian section of the story. Jack's spy maneuverings were good, too. The least interesting was the suffragette woman, Kaitlyn. I found her to be annoying, but it may have been the narrator's interpretation of her voice.
I can think of a dozen. All the British spy novel narrators that I've heard on Audibles have been fantastic. This was awful.
All the love-making is tedious. The first time, okay, but then get to the spy story!
I wouldn't buy another narrated by the same person. His voice is unsuitable for this. It was so slow I thought there had to have been a technical glitch.
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