One Man’s Flag

David Downing. Soho Crime, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-61695-270-9
Downing’s meandering second WWI-era spy novel finds British agent Jack McColl and American newspaper woman Caitlyn Hanley, who were lovers in 2014’s Jack of Spies, now worlds apart. McColl is working for the Crown, assigned to undermine terrorists in India, while Hanley roams Europe, reporting on the horrors of trench warfare. Hanley, however, is drawn back to Ireland, her ancestral home, for an emerging story—rumors of Germany’s possible arming of Irish revolutionaries in a classic scheme of helping the enemy of your enemy. McColl’s bosses, hearing of the plan, call him home to investigate, knowing his relationship with Hanley could work to England’s advantage. Downing provides the kind of period detail and color that distinguishes his WWII series (Zoo Station, etc.), but the plot—lacking a clear antagonist—is often dull and directionless until the final stretch, when fighting breaks out in Dublin and the lovers must choose between their professions and their romance. Agent: Charlie Viney, Viney Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/2015
Release date: 11/03/2015
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-61695-271-6
Hardcover - 595 pages - 978-1-4104-8675-2
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-61695-764-3
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