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Mini-Reviews: An Improbable Spy and Shanghaied by David Paul Collins

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About an Improbable Spy: 

Tehran was well known to American businessman Jack Devlin until the day everything changed. When radical Islamic students stormed the US embassy on November 4, 1979, Jack narrowly escaped the revolutionary chaos, leaving behind 80 percent of his business and 100 percent of his heart. To get his beautiful girlfriend, Farideh, out of Iran, Jack accepts a devil’s bargain with the CIA and MI6. He must slip back into Tehran, where the militant students are holding dozens of Americans hostage in their own embassy. His part of the bargain is to steal the coveted client ledger of the world’s most powerful arms dealer, Mustafa Khaki, Farideh’s father. Surprised by an additional assignment, Jack is also ordered to strip a KGB defector of details on Russian collusion with Iran and their plan to eliminate the American hostages while infiltrating the highest levels of Ayatollah Khomeini’s government. From the damp cellars of KGB headquarters to the cold chill of British espionage to the blistering heat of the Kuwaiti desert, readers will learn, in an erroneous twist, that not all the turncoats are Russians.

About Shanghaied:

When Jack Sligo runs away from his loving Boston-Irish family, he hopes to get a summer job on a cruise ship. His dream becomes a nightmare when he meets two strangers who give him mysterious drinks in a waterfront saloon.

Jack wakes up, far at sea, shanghaied aboard the African freighter, SS Iron Prince. The ship’s first call is a remote jungle port in Venezuela where there’s plenty of rum, women, and thieves, but no opportunity for escape.

My thoughts on: An Improbable Spy 

Plot : 4/5
Characters : 4/5
Writing : 3.5/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre : Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Thriller

An Improbable Spy falls in the category of genre or books which I don’t read that often. However, this book took me by great surprise! I was attached and extremely hooked from the premise and interesting storyline. this is a fast paced thriller with many other themes like politics and kidnapping. These themes made the book more engaging!  The characters were definitely those to whom I was emotionally attached to and were presented in a wonderful way. The writing style was equally engaging as well. It was quite simple and easy to get along with! 

My thoughts on: Shanghaied

Plot : 4/5
Characters : 4/5
Writing : 4/5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In this book, we are first introduced to Jack as he is surrounded by family, but also plagued by thoughts of wanting more in life and venturing into the world. Th pacing of the story was well thought and well paced. Further, the setting of the ship and the jungles that Jack has to navigate through makes you feel as if you are a part of the journey yourself because they are wonderfully described! There couldn’t have been a better setting for this book. 


David Paul Collins is the author of award-winning titles Shanghaied and An Improbable Spy, reviewed by author Margot Lee Shetterly (author of Hidden Figures) and recognized by Hollywood film recruiter, Joseph Rosenberg. They are travel-adventure books that explore foreign destinations accurately and in-depth while following a thrilling narrative.




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