Book Review: Jordan McCollum’s I, Spy

August 1, 2013 4 out of 5, review 0 ★★★★

Book Review: Jordan McCollum’s I, SpyTitle: I, Spy
Author: Jordan McCollum
Genre: Romantic Suspense
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Canada is probably the last place you'd expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets--and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there's one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation.

It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy?

She can make this work, too--until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn't the only thing suffering. Now to save her country and her secrets, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves.

CIA operative, Talia Reynolds, finds herself in a predicament. As an agent working in Canada, she lives a double life. Her boyfriend, Danny, doesn’t know she’s an agent and thinks she’s a lawyer. She constantly has to break dates with him and yet, she can’t quite imagine a different career. Added to the craziness of her life is her partner, Elliot and having to keep him focused on the job at the hand. When she’s assigned a job that involves romancing a Russian aerospace executive, Talia realizes she’s in a difficult position; just when she and her fellow operatives have things figured out, Danny’s life is threatened and Talia must decide how much to sacrifice. Will she be able to save Danny without blowing her cover or will she realize there’s no going back?

Jordan McCollum’s I, Spy is a fast paced read, from the opening scene to the end, it’s non-stop action. Your heart begins to pound during the undercover operations and when it’s all over, you’re happy to breathe again. Narration is first person and if you’ve ever watched Burn Notice, you know Michael Westen narrates the show with little tidbits about spy life. McCollum utilizes this approach with Talia and it’s a fun way to bring a character to life and to tell a story.

Character development is a bit weak and McCollum focuses primarily on Talia and it makes perfect sense since she’s our narrator. Talia is dating Danny, an aerospace engineer, and I liked him, but I wished I knew more about him. He’s always on the back burner and doesn’t ask Talia many questions. I do believe there’s more to him than we see. There are a few scenes where Talia shows up at his building and when he spots her, he’s a bit unnerved to see her. Then we have Elliot, Talia’s partner. His mind isn’t focused on work because his wife is due to go into labor at any moment. Talia fights for Elliot to be at her side and she even realizes that his priorities have changed. Danny is jealous of Elliot because he spends more time with Talia than he does and she never talks about her work. McCollum needed to add additional tension to their relationship, although there’s something between Elliot and Talia. Maybe some unresolved attraction. Finally, we have Fyodor Timofeyev, the Russian who refuses to give up any information. He is shrouded in mystery and remains so even towards the end.

I, Spy is Latter-Day Saint/Mormon centered with regards to Talia and Danny. There’s mention about how Talia doesn’t drink alcohol including caffeine and where she went for a mission. Although McCollum sets up her characters with a Mormon background, there are no religious undertones.

Memorable quote:

James Bond never had to deal with wardrobe malfunctions.

If you’re a fan of spy thrillers, you’ll enjoy Jordan McCollum’s I, Spy. There was a bit of unfinished business regarding an earlier surveillance case and I’m hoping McCollum will wrap it up in later book. I, Spy is a heart stopping thrilling action ride.

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