Of Our Own Device

Of Our Own Device

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
766 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I'm a sort of a vagabond, having lived, studied and worked in many countries, poor, aspiring and rich. I have experienced poverty and war, as well as peace and prosperity, and I've learned that you don't appreciate the latter in full, without experiencing the former. Today, I'm still living in a foreign country, working in many others in the region, and traveling yet to others because... I can't get wanderlust out of my DNA!

My book was inspired by the movie Brokeback Mountain, Anthony Grey's novel "Saigon" and Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago".

Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Of Our Own Device by M.K. South is a powerful thriller told around equally powerful historical events. For readers who enjoy political thrillers that are fast-paced and gripping, this book will be a wondrous treat. The novel features one of the perennial conflicts of modern history, the tug-of-war between the CIA and the KGB, set in an age when spy work was the order of the day with a shaky relationship between the US and Russia. Jack Smith is a new CIA agent attached to the US embassy in Moscow, a novice who quickly develops a good relationship with Eton Volkonsky. Eton Volkonsky is a student specializing in nuclear physics. A simple friendship could be transformed into a great opportunity as Jack is tasked to coax the young Russian student into becoming a spy. The huge question is: Can he be so sure about the man he trusts or could Eton be on a similar mission for the KGB?

M.K. South has created a stellar thriller with memorable characters and readers will be thrilled with the drama that takes place within these pages. The reader gets the feeling that the author is an expert in the workings of intelligence organizations. It is interesting to see how he weaves historical elements into the story, making relevant references to Afghanistan, the emergence of HIV AIDS, and a lot of verifiable information. There is a strong political and social commentary that punctuates the story and gives it life, unveiling a Russia that readers hardly know. Jack Smith is a well-crafted character and readers will love watching as he evolves through the political friction, the intrigue, and the game played by two intelligence bodies — the CIA and the KGB. Of Our Own Device is one that will be hard to put down. Tightly written and paced to keep the reader reading, nonstop.

Rabia Tanveer

Of Our Own Device by M.K. South is the story of a man who is fighting himself while trying to do his job. This is the story of Jack Smith, a new CIA case officer stationed in Moscow, in 1985, at the American Embassy where he is given the task to train Eton Volkonsky as a future agent. Eton is a charismatic young man and he is also a nuclear physics student. The two become very good friends, but there is one big issue; Jack has his suspicions about Eton being a KGB agent.

Nevertheless, Jack is very attracted to the man, but his job and moral obligations keep him from taking the final step towards starting a relationship. He keeps telling himself that he is just doing his job. But is he really doing that? Through all the time that he worked, he always wanted to be led back to Moscow and to Eton. But what can he do when the odds are not in his favor?

This was truly a beautifully written novel. I really liked the way the story was built and how everything fell into place as the story progressed. It was definitely a new look at the KGB and CIA debacle that was less political and more personal. I liked the fact that Jack wanted more, but he was not stupid. He had his eyes and mind open, even when his heart was telling him to trust everyone. This was a really great new approach to the topic and theme. I really enjoyed it.

Divine Zape

Of Our Own Device by M.K. South is a book for those who love political intrigue, spy thrillers, and stories that put readers on the edge of their seats, the kind of writing one finds in the works of David Baldacci and James Patterson. I am definitely going to put this one on my shelf, alongside my favorite thriller authors. Here is a book that brilliantly showcases the clash between the KGB and the CIA, a game we have read about too often and which is a reality, only that the author makes the reader part of the drama.

Set in contemporary times, this thriller features a rookie CIA case officer, Jack Smith, posted at the American embassy in Moscow. Eton Volkonsky is a brilliant student who can play an invaluable role in the spy work of the CIA, and Jack Smith would score great success if he could tame the heart of the brilliant young nuclear physics student and transform him into an agent for the Agency. But can he trust this young man? How can he be sure that Eton Volkonsky is not a formidable tool in the hands of the KGB?

In a fast-paced, gripping, and absorbing tale, readers are brought into contact with powerful characters and a conflict that will keep readers’ hearts pounding as they guess and try to keep pace with the characters. Of Our Own Device also features excellent writing, polished to read smoothly and crisply. The language is filled with great dialogues and absorbing descriptions of locales, emotions, and action-packed scenes. M.K. South has won my heart as a great storyteller and master of the genre.