Colonel's Mistake, The
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Colonel's Mistake, The (The Sava Series #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  504 ratings  ·  84 reviews
In Baku, Azerbaijan, CIA operations officer Daria Buckingham is arrested for a heinous crime. Her former boss, retired CIA station chief Mark Sava, is sure she's innocent and tries to help her out ? landing him in the middle of the new Great Game, an espionage war over oil that has China, Iran, and the United States clawing at each other's throats. Back in Washington, DC,...more
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Published August 21st 2012 by Brilliance Audio (first published August 1st 2012)
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Full Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This is a debut spy thriller that I read a few months ago. It’s a fresh new take on the Great Game taking place in central Asia. As with most spy thrillers, they often take the road & tropes that has been beaten to death. This book however doesn’t take that path and marks itself as a special debut.

The reason for its special nature is that it does things differently and it doesn’t have a superspy as its protagonist but one that...more
Mike Lindgren
My friend and classmate Dan Mayland has produced a bare-knuckled thriller that is an exemplar of the genre. Mayland's protagonist is Mark Sava, a cynical ex-CIA operative -- he's kind of like a down-at-heels American James Bond, without the clothes and gadgets -- who gets sucked into a brutal series of killings related to a shipment of stolen uranium and some pan-Islamic skulduggery. The plot is incomprehensible gibberish, but the atmosphere of obscure Central Asian backwaters and the rot and de...more
This was an enjoyable thriller set primarily in Azerbaijan but with diversions to Iran, Iraq, France and America as the plot progressed. Basically the plot is based around US fears of Iran and to be honest after the early chapters I was fearing a rather mindless US uber alles jingoistic romp. Whilst it had some elements of that, with lots of references to mad mullahs, it was actually much better than that, with the lead character Mark Sava - an ex CIA head of station in Baku - displaying a marke...more
Orest Stelmach
The former CIA station chief of Azerbaijan returns to his prior life to rescue his protege.

Mark Sava has left the intelligence world for a job as a university professor in the city of Baku. But when Daria Buckingham is charged with the assassination of an American official, his conscience forces him to come to his former colleague's aid. Sava's quest for truth propels the story. To uncover the truth, he must revisit his old network of relationships. They feature government agents and revolutiona...more
Don Mayland's first novel "The Colonel's Mistake" is a terrific read. Mr. Mayland a former CIA operative himself, gives the book and his main character Mark Sava tons of credibility in this compelling page turner.

The plot revolves around a former CIA station chief in Baku who is trying to recast his life as a college professor and author in Azerbaijan. It doesn't take long for the action to start as former colleagues are imprisoned, visiting US corporate executives are assassinated and the entir...more
Can you imagine a half dozen US government employees getting killed on-the-job in a foreign country and the US Government not making a huge deal out of it, especially if Iranian agents were the prime suspects? Can you imagine a senior US official changing his name and no one figuring it out, despite the background check necessary for his job? Can you imagine a CIA employee committing treason and no one really caring? These are just a few of the leaps of faith required to buy into this novel. Add...more
Lisa Otoupal-Robel
This espionage book was okay. I liked the main character, which is important to me or I can't stay engaged. I didn't like many of the other characters, which is a problem because then I don't really care what their motivations are ... and that's a big part of most books.

I didn't think the premise was too far-fetched. I mean, the world is a crazy place and all this could happen.

I don't know what bothered me about it ... I just wasn't feeling it. I think this is a good book for my father. He lik...more
If you are a fan of spies, espionage and terrorist actions, this book is one I'm sure you'll enjoy. The author also included a map of the middle east when I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I found it very helpful. This book is a fast moving adventure, and appears to be the first in a series. It was a quick read and I look forward to more by Mr. Maryland.
I read this as a free Amazon Prime borrow based on the reviews. After reading it I have to say: Anybody who gives this book a 4 or 5 star rating needs to start reading better espionage novels. There is no way this book deserves all the buzz it is getting. This book was OK - nothing more. Seriously, there's better stuff out there - go find it!
Ever on the search for new espionage thrillers to read and anxious to make the most of my Amazon Prime membership, I checked out The Colonel's Mistake through the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. The price was right, it fit my schedule (totally free during the Christmas holiday), and caught my eye. It was also the perfect quick read- mindless, mildly predictable, and free (so I didn't wish I hadn't spent money on it (double negative!)).

The book is set in a location other than those that are well...more
Well done ... Content associated with the politics of the region very accurate
Enjoyable read, would recommend
3.75 Stars!

Really caught and held my interest!

What I liked: I sincerely enjoyed Mr Mayland's writing style. It was a good steady pace, descriptive and well ordered. You think that's sounds boring, right? Not in the least. Thrillers that jump all over the place just confuse and frustrate me. The Colonel's Mistake was logical without giving too much away too soon. The suspense/thriller part was done just right for me.

I also loved the characters. Mark Sava, a former CIA station chief is my kind of...more
Read for my "Around the World in 80 Books" challenge.

A fast-paced spy thriller, set in Baku, Azerbaijan (as well as a few scenes in Iran, Washington D.C. and France). Intriguing setting of Central Asia and a decent action-filled plot, but I wish the characters has been fleshed out a bit more. (For example, the jaded spy Mark and his attractive sidekick Daria pale in comparison to the charismatic crime fighting duo of Cormoran and Robin in The Cuckoo's Calling.) Still, a quick and entertaining re...more
I was half-way through this when I realised what had been bugging me.

Let's have a look: craggy, loner major (male) character in at least early- if not full-middle-age and a female sidekick who is young, beautiful and brilliant. A very convoluted plot with an is-he-isn't-he possibly villan.

Yes: it's Dan Brown in disguise.

Now I have to be clear here. I read the Da Vinci Code when it came out in paperback, while on holiday, in one afternoon sat by the pool. It was ok. Nothing to get excited about a...more
With his first to be published novel, Dan Mayland takes us into the west Asian interior and the nation of Azerbaijan and the turbulent and deadly world of deceit, shady deals, unknown assassins, and a new hero - Mark Sava, ex-CIA but very much the agent in his soul.

Sava finds himself in a dangerous and difficult situation as he seeks to free one of his former agents, Dara Buckingham, who is undercover as an Iranian agent and is herself of Iranian descent who is believed to have a role in the ass...more
I won this book in a a Goodreads giveaway. Thanks Dan Mayland for sending me this book.

I usually don't read spy thrillers, but needed to read something different.

The main characer, Mark Sava, waa a retire CIA agent living in Azerbijan. All of a sudden, almoost all of the agents in Baku, Azerbijan are killed. So he embarks on a journey to unmask the reason for the killings.

Along the way, he travels all over and gets involved with so many differnt people.

This book was well written. The detail t...more
Scott Haraburda
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


This was a riveting espionage story, set in modern-day Middle East. Using high-stakes games in a complex international world, the author conveys a dangerous and mysterious story. This book has plenty of action that will amuse any reader seeking a thrilling ride.

Dan Mayland takes us into a seedy world with important players throughout the region, including the US President and a multi-billionaire, all eagerly using their mone...more
This is Dan Mayland's first published book as far as I can tell and it was a pleasant surprise. I won this book from yet again another First Reads giveaway so I was actually a little hesitant to start this one. I signed up for it based on the description rather than the book title as I felt, and still do feel the title needs a rework (I'll explain later).

The story follows a retired CIA operative named Mark Sava as he works to stop a nuclear device from getting into the wrong hands....more
Mark Sava retired from the CIA as the Azerbaijan station chief but stayed in Baku to become a professor and lead a quiet life. Upon learning that an Iranian-American CIA operations officer has been committed of a crime she likely did not commit, Sava finds himself sucked back into the life he left behind--and a multi-national intelligence war involving Iran, China and the U.S.

I think this is the first novel I’ve read that used a more obscure former Soviet Republic as the primary setting, follow...more
David Caldwell
I won a copy on Goodreads Firstreads.

The first in a new series.Mark Sava has left his life in the CIA behind, but when one of his former operation officers is arrested in conjuction with a murder, he gets pulled back into the spy game.As the CIA members in Baku,Azerbaijan, seem to be the target of assassins, Mark has nowhere to turn as he starts to investigate.Working with a former SEAL, Mark has to first try to free Daria Buckingham from prison before she also becomes a target.Set in the volati...more
This is not the type of thing that I usually read. It not that I have anything against the genre, it's just not usually something that I'd grab off the bookshelf at the store or the library or whatever.

I won this off of goodreads' first-reads, and I'm so glad I did. The story was really well done. Mayland certainly did his research before writing this, but it wasn't the type of political/military story where the author wants to prove that they've researched the topic by throwing a bunch of unnec...more
R J Mckay
I received this from the Goodreads first read program.
The Colonel's Mistake is a very intricate story. It is gritty, fast-paced and down to earth. The characters are not super spies, but are modern day warriors, battling for their life in an area of the world that is as foreign to the normal reader as if it were Mars. The plot is misleads you many times as you try to grasp the complexity of what’s happening to Mark, Daria, and Decker. The actual "mistake" that the Colonel has made isn’t revealed...more
OK start to a new spy thriller series, but this did not really make me salivate at the prospect of more to come. .Another lone-wolf lead character running around in Central Asia turns out to be more than he first appears.
The writing is proficient; the background interesting and the plot not too far fetched. Definitely worth a punt if it crops up as a Kindle bargain!
Well this book wasn't really my style. It was written very good and the story was interesting there where just too many things I didn't understand in it. And that's all down to my lack of intellect not the authors lack of writing. I just didn't understand enough about all the political and oil stuff that was mentioned for me to be able to follow the story properly. However once I'd kind of got my head around it all it did actually hold my interest and there where some good shockers in it. I woul...more
Harry Allagree
Mayland's novel, the first in his Mark Sava series, is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller. The chapters are short, so it's easy & fast reading. I enjoyed it, but I didn't feel that the portrayal of the characters was as crisp as it could have been. The ending also disappointed me.
Tariq Mahmood
Pretty ordinary read. its a straight forward spy thriller set in Azerbaijan, Iran and Iraq. The CIA seems to be trying to save the world by stopping the Iranian getting their hands on some bomb grade uranium. Wonder why? Getting a bomb has not made any iota of difference for the people of Pakistan so the US may stop wasting their time.

I am afraid I found it difficult to finish this very ordinary spy story.
Actually a 2.5 star. A little over the top, but I still enjoyed the read. Other reviewers have done a good job with most of the book's qualities so I'll just comment on a feature that may have touched me in a unique way. When I was a young man I dreamed of world travel. 0, the places I'd see! I did eventually get around a bit in the US, including some garden spots, but my international travel was limited to some single-day excursions to Mexican border towns. Now, in my dotage, I frequently regre...more
Quick read initially set in Baku and then moves throughout Central Asia (and a few other locations). Generally engaging, ok writing, keeps you engaged.
It was an action packed novel set in Azerbaijan, and I enjoyed the intrigue of this part of the world. It was interesting to learn about a part of the world about which I had very little knowledge. The characters were not especially well drawn, but the book has an exciting plot with many twists and turns, and I enjoyed it.
Krystal Hickam
Very fast paced covert military thriller, it has many turns that are not expected but add lots of depth to the story. Only having a few characters that make it through the entire book gives it a personal experience and makes you want to see them come out on top. It has a believable story that sounds like it could be happening right now given the current state of the world and its dark corners. I would like to give thanks to the author Dan Mayland, the publisher and goodreads for allowing me to w...more
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Hi all,

I wanted to let you know that I've added some things to my website that might be helpful or interesting to have while reading my Mark Sava spy-thiller novels—free MAPS, lists of CHARACTERS, links to PHOTOS of places featured in the books, a GLOSSARY, discussion QUESTIONS, and an entry form you can fill out to potentially win a free ADVANCE READER'S COPY of my next book.

If you're interested,...more
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