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

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,202 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Mark Sava, former CIA station chief of Azerbaijan, lives a quiet life as a professor at Western University in the city of Baku. But his peace is shattered by both the assassination of a high-level American during an international oil conference and the arrest of CIA operations officer Daria Buckingham for the crime.

Sava knows the Iranian American Buckingham well—he persona
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Published August 21st 2012 by Brilliance Audio (first published August 1st 2012)
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Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Mike Lindgren
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Judy Shannon
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Enjoyed reading. Always like the tough but gentlemanly attributes of both Sava and Decker. Plan to read more of these.
Orest Stelmach
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
The Colonel's Mistake is good thriller mainly based in Azerbaijan, an asian country formally controlled by the Soviets and now influenced by Iran.
The synopsis tells the reader that an CIA operative Daria has been arrested for murder and detained. Her former CIA mentor, (now retired), Mark is asked to help get her out. He is reinstated on contract by the CIA. But he finds things are much more complicated and are not quite right. Factions from all sides are holding secrets, telling half truths and
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-mystery
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
Chessy The Cat
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Former CIA station chief, Mark Sava, is living the good life with his girlfriend Baku, Azerbaijan. Sava comes out of retirement when officials arrest his protégé for a crime she did not commit, and someone murders the entire CIA staff in Baku. Once he is knee deep in the mystery it is hard to tell who are friends and who are enemies.

Maryland’s first book in A Mark Save Spy Novel series, The Colonel’s Mistake, is an action-packed, spy thriller. Strong characters get caught up in a deadly intellig
Rick F.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"From the shadows of the world's most volatile region to the highest levels of Washington politics, The Colonel's Mistake takes readers on an unforgettable ride where the good, the bad, and the brutal play a deadly chess game of global espionage"

The above quote- taken from the synopsis is SPOT ON!!!
This is a seat of your pants thriller- full of twists and turns that keep the reader glued to the page- top notch in all areas- characters are very well rounded- individual- not paint by number- but b
Dec 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! A fast-paced thriller that keeps you glued to the book. Spy thrillers aren't normally my favorite genre, but this book caught me and held me. It is a fast read aided by short pithy chapters that lead you on to the next. Another thing I enjoyed about the book is the description of the terrain of Azerbaijan, Iran and surrounding countries. I have a better understanding of that part of the world now and a map in my mind. This is a debut novel which says it is #1 of Mark Sava books. I hope ther ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads

Excellent!! This book was interesting, exciting, and gripping. Dan Mayland has a talent for making the story come alive. The Colonel's Mistake was action packed. The characters were well developed and believable. This is a gripping page turner that I highly recommend. I'm glad to hear that this will be the first in a series of Mark Sava spy thrillers! The book is outstanding and a must read.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads, however this had no impact on my review. I rate
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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!
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done ... Content associated with the politics of the region very accurate
Enjoyable read, would recommend
Eric Newman
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Series Opener!

Interesting story line with plenty of action. I liked the descriptions of locations that painted the picture of places I've never been or read about. I will continue the series. Read this if you also read Alex Berenson or Brad Thor.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic. IT is a very fast paced novel that takes you all over the Middle East. It is for any person that loves spy thrillers. Full review will be posted on The Cubicle Escapee
Sheldon Roth
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor plot,

Tried to stay engaged but after 4 tries I have up and desired to move on. Book was worth what I paid for it $0.00
Richard P. Fink
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cut about the rest

Great read, descriptions and knowledge of the region. Superior to most others in the genre. At $0.99 it's a steal!
Action packed spy novel. I liked the info about Azerbaijan.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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.
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, fiction
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
Carolyn Meinel
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read all four of Dan Mayland's Mark Sava thrillers one after another, loosing much sleep in the process. Given that I haven't bought a spy novel since the '80s, and my last binge read was in 1966 (Lord of the Rings trilogy), why did I go all in on Mr. Mayland's books?

First, once the books arrived, how did he hook me into this binge read?

In the case of the last in the series, Death of a Spy, I suffered in suspense as a pair of freelance spies with their newborn baby tried to score Desitin for d
William Brown
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-Stars! An Excellent, Gritty Middle East Spy Story

“The Colonel’s Mistake” by Dan Mayland is the first book in a three book series featuring Mark Sava, the aging, low key, former CIA Station Chief in Azerbaijan in former Soviet Central Asia. You can’t get much more backwater than that. Sava has stayed on as a consultant living in Baku, the country’s hot, dusty, corrupt capital. He gets dragged into a friend’s kidnapping, an attempted coup in Iran, and a proposed Chinese oil pipeline. Think Georg
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
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 about Dan Mayland...

Other Books in the Series

Mark Sava (4 books)
  • The Leveling
  • Spy for Hire
  • Death of a Spy

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