How To Betray Your Country

Mysterious Book Report No. 451

by John Dwaine McKenna

August Drummond is his name and he’s an enigma . . . a British Secret Service agent who’s lost his wife in a traffic accident and his job for punching another intelligence officer during a hearing in which Drummond was suspected of using classified materials to aid a foreign national in a series of ‘Robin Hood’ style events that took place in his first adventure,  Beside the Syrian Sea.

Now, in the newly released second volume of a planned trilogy entitled, How To Betray Your Country, (Bitter Lemon Press, PB, $15.95, 336 pages, ISBN 978-1-913394-51-6) by James Wolff, a divorced and unemployed August Drummond is on a plane headed for Istanbul, Turkey—where he’s taken a job out of desperation.  It’s beneath his intellect, skill set and talent.  But it’s a paycheck . . . and a steady income is something he desperately needs.  Mourning his wife Martha, Drummond has crawled into a whiskey bottle and taken a deep dive.

Drummond’s training and instincts kick in however, when he notices a passenger in seat 34c acting strangely.  While the out of work ex-spy watches, the nervous young man in 34c—who looks like a British recruit to ISIS—secrets something in the book he’s been pretending to read.  Minutes later, the plane lands and the passenger in 34c is arrested by Turkish Police and escorted off the plane.  Intrigued, as well as halfway through a fifth of Gilbey’s gin he smuggled onto the Turkish Airways passenger jet, Drummond retrieves the man’s book and finds instructions for a clandestine rendezvous.

Whether from arrogance, boredom or just plain drunken bad judgment, Drummond follows the hand-written instructions to a midnight meeting in a deserted cemetery and presents himself as the man in 34c.  He has no idea what he’s getting into, no backup from MI6, the British Intelligence Agency, and no plan for extricating himself from the insane danger he’s about to get himself into . . . which is of course, what makes this tightly plotted, action-driven and fascinating spy yarn so utterly compelling and irresistible.  Wolf is a winner in the spy thriller genre, writing intricate, twisted and devilishly complex stories that grab the reader’s attention on page one and never ever lets go!


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