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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.