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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Once Is Never Enough: A James Flynn Escapade by Haris Orkin pokes fun once again at the spy action genre in this second installment. The last time we saw James Flynn, he was under the illusion that he was a British secret service agent with a call sign of Double-O. This time, Flynn is in a mental asylum and is still convinced that he is a secret agent. Goolardo, his nemesis from the first book, has escaped from prison along with his henchman, Mendoza. They attempt to liquidate Flynn, and this triggers Flynn to snap into his British spy mode and be recruited by billionaire Sergei Belenki. Flynn’s mission is to prevent harmful information leaks that are perpetrated by Russia. Unbeknownst to Flynn, Belenki is hiding his own agenda, and it has something to do with a superior intelligence so far beyond our own that we cannot even begin to comprehend it. The world’s fate hangs in the balance, and its salvation is in the hands of a nut job.
Once is Never Enough is relentless both in action and humor. I think of it as Johnny English minus the vacuity. James Flynn appears to be deadpan serious so that he emerges as comedic in a world full of danger and intrigue. Haris Orkin has written a spy novel that makes an elaborate joke of the genre, and perhaps this is what we need right now considering the string of James Bond movies with all the serious bravado that famous British actors have projected into the character. James Flynn becomes a welcome alternative. As the action gets more furious, so does the humor. The story reveals Orkin as a humorous fiction writer as he indulges readers with a heavy-handed satire and such engaging inversions. It’s comedic action at its best, and I look forward to another James Flynn adventure.