Jack of Spies

  • by David Downing
  • Narrated by Gildart Jackson
  • 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Narrator wrong for this story

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

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.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

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.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Gildart Jackson?

I can think of a dozen. All the British spy novel narrators that I've heard on Audibles have been fantastic. This was awful.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Jack of Spies?

All the love-making is tedious. The first time, okay, but then get to the spy story!

Any additional comments?

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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- Bobbi Mumm

Too much, TooMany

Too much information, Too many places, Too many issues. While the story was interesting, I had to push myself to finish the book.
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- Kathleen Rolfingsmeier

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-13-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.