Mark Sava, recently retired CIA station chief in Azerbaijan, is trying to live quietly with his girlfriend and teach college classes, but of course it's not to be. Within the first few pages Mark is trying to get his protege, Daria, out of prison, where she has been accused of a horrible crime. The entire CIA staff in Baku has been massacred, and the higher-ups in Washington DC are inept and seemingly unconcerned. The case quickly spins out of control. No one is who they appear to be. Friends can't be trusted and enemies are everywhere. Mark, despite his nondescript appearance, is no naive American, but a savvy street-fighter. That's all I'm going to tell you about the plot--it's complicated. The action ranges from Baku in Azerbaijan, to Washington, to Iran, to Iraq, to a village in France, to Dubai. Well, your head will be spinning.
And what was the colonel's mistake? The tragic mistake that has haunted him all his life? I won't tell you that either. Get the book.
Author Dan Mayland seems to know his way around the third world, and the dark outposts of human nature as well. His writing his crisp, lucid, and straightforward, without literary pretensions. The action starts immediately and doesn't let up until the last page. I really enjoyed this book, and finished it within two days, because I couldn't stop reading. This is to be first of a series of Mark Sava novels, and I'll be looking for the next one. Get this book as soon as you can. I recommend it highly. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber