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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 18 February 2014
Mark Sava, formerly working for the CIA, but currently freelancing for an independent contractor returns for his third adventure. He continues his travels around the Middle East with the action this time around centred on the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan and the island state of Bahrain. As previously the author writes about this area with some authority and the descriptions of these places invariably have a ring of authenticity about them which adds credibility to the story.

These are very much standalone tales. It is not necessary to have read the previous instalments to enjoy this one as the author is not constantly harping back to what went before. However, it does help to understand the past relationships between Sava, Daria Buckingham who is now his live in partner, ex SEAL John Decker and others.

This is quite a complex tale involving a two year old boy who various parties seem to have an interest in and whom Sava wants to do the right thing by. What that is is not at all clear to him or the reader for quite a while. A certain amount of concentration is necessary since there are a number of groups involved, each with their own agenda and whose intentions, good or bad are not entirely clear until very late in the book. A further layer is that, for the first time, we learn something of Sava's background and upbringing which has quite an impact on him during this story.

On balance this was probably not quite as strong as the two preceding stories, but nonetheless its an enjoyable, action packed read which most will enjoy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 February 2014
This is the third of the novels featuring ex-CIA operative Mark Sava and his companion Daria and their friend John Decker. Having been exiled from Azerbaijan Mark and Daria are now living in Kyrgyzstan where Daria is running an orphanage and Mark is working for a private contractor and playing board games. The story starts with a small boy and an attempted abduction and becomes an action packed action thriller eventually moving to Bahrain. Along the way we will see how the vulnerable are pawns in the plans of the powerful and learn a lot about Mark's early life and family.

This is excellent spy/action/thriller writing. The book is fast paced and full of climaxes and revelations. The book has a large scope in that it deals with the fate of nations but the actual story concentrates on the fate of a few individuals. The characterisation is excellent and Mark Sava is a well rounded and interesting person who faces real issues and problems. The locations are unusual and the culture and lifestyle in these less known places adds an exotic element to the book.

I really enjoyed this story and thought that it was an interesting sequel to the two previous novels featuring the same characters. I would highly recommend this series if you like the works of David Baldacci, Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy and I don't think that you would have any problem following this story even if you hadn't read the previous books. The ending gives hope that there will be more books in the series - if there are then I am very much looking forward to reading them.
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on 11 November 2014
Yet another great and compulsive read.

After what seemed to be a slower start than the first two books, the plot took off on a roller-coaster ride around the middle-east, as was only to be expected from one of Dan Mayland's Mark Sava novels.

Despite trying to make the best of the unwelcome turn of events that had led to him being thrown own and excluded from his beloved and comfortable home in Baku, Azerbaijan, Mark Sava is again unwittingly drawn back into the intrigue and double dealing that is the corrupt political arena of the middle-east.

He is torn away from a less comfortable, but moderately satisfying, life with Daria Buckingham in his newly adopted home in Kyrgyzstan, through events brought about by the duplicitous actions of his previous employer, the CIA.

This time it gets personal for Mark, and we get to learn more about his previous life, before he joined the CIA.

The character of Mark Sava reminds me of the shadowy figure of real-life Sidney Riley (aka Sigmund Rosenblum), who lived (dangerously) on his wits as a freelance spy, mainly for the British, during the early part of the 20th Century. (Sidney Riley was the subject of a TV series in the 1970s - 'Riley, Ace of Spies', starring Sam Neil - and in more recent years the subject of several books attempting to document his life, and to separate the intertwined myths and truths which surround Riley's escapades.)
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on 5 April 2015
Mark Sava, ex CIA, now a spy on a freelance basis, gets involved with what appears to be the kidnapping of a toddler through his girlfriend who volunteers at an orphanage. And it seems that although we are in Kirghyzstan, the CIA is involved, so is Saudi intelligence, and so is the thousand year old conflict between sunni and shia Islam. Protestants and Catholics have been killing each other for at least that long of course - why should Islam be different?

Anyway, Sava has a past too - one he walked away from years ago. And his enemies use this past to attack him. Bad move.
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on 2 March 2014
Mark and his team are relaxing away from work. Daria is working with an orphanage where a little boy has been placed, and from where he is kidnapped. Things become increasingly complicated when it seems that the boy is a member of the Saudi royal family and no-one is sure who is trying to kidnap him or why. Mark treats authority figures with his usual skepticism;bodies fall and cars are wrecked but everything is resolved more or less satisfactorily. Mayland knows the countries that he describes, the politics and customs of the people this makes for a very satisfying read and I would recommend these books to anyone who appreciates an intelligent storyline.
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VINE VOICEon 25 February 2014
This is Dan Mayland's third book but my first experience of his work. I have to say that he is a great find as I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I can't say that it is a 'white knuckle' thriller but it is a very fast moving, well written and absorbing one. I found it to be one of those rare books that when you put it down you can't wait to get back to it, for me that says more than pages of praise ever can...highly recommended.
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on 18 February 2014
An excellent third novel in the Mark Sava story. I was hooked when I read the first one and would recommend they be read in sequence. Spy for Hire lets readers have some of the 'back story' to Mark's life and gives a pointer of things to come. However, this is set amidst a plot where a mystery orphan becomes a pawn between rival players in power politics. Quite a fast paced book with thousands of miles travelled between various countries to find the child some semblance of a normal life whilst shielding him from those agencies which have their own agenda.
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on 16 April 2014
What I like about the Mark Sava series is the setting. We're not in New York or LA; we're not even in London. We're out in a very troubled area of the world and we are introduced to ordinary people living as best they can in difficult circumstances. Excellent book: excellent series.
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on 6 March 2014
Utter rubbish, there is more story on the back if a packet of Andrex toilet paper!! And it's more believable!!! That's a few hours of my life I will never get back. The story was poorly written and the characters had no substance!!
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on 9 March 2014
Much enjoyed all three of the Mark Sava stories and also learnt something about the past and present history and politics of the region in which they are set. Although they are separate stories, I think it does help to read them in order of publication as you get a more rounded picture of the returning characters, but this is not a requirement.

Am looking forward to more from this author if he can keep the standard going.

Typhoon Kate
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