Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{April 11, 2013}   {Review} Spy Hunt In Dixie by Max Connelly

12390006From Goodreads: Henry Galloway is a seasoned MI6 officer who finally returns home, from India, on the eve of WW II. Galloway, who is in his retiring days, starts picking on his old acquaintances when he surprisingly finds that his protégé and friend, Michael Aniston, had fled arrest after charges of treason. However, Galloway believes in his innocence without any doubt. After all, he was one who relayed the orders in one of those incriminating missions. Believing that the Directorate is infiltrated and that he cannot start a search from within, he recruits the services of Zach Taylor, a fellow WW I veteran, who excels as a detective journalist.

Suddenly the novel shifts gear and jumps back in time tracing the unbelievable adventure of Idris, a Sudanese soldier in the army of the Egyptian Khedive, who joins the French invasion of Mexico in 1863. With a twist of fate, Idris crosses the Northern borders, into the United States, in the midst of the American Civil war, where he encounters a major battle, the result of which he bears witness to a terrible secret. He encodes his secret onto a parchment and leaves it in safe hands before returning back home and gets himself engulfed into obscurity.

A bunch of Confederate aristocracy, a British Governor-General and a discrete organization are on his track and are just about to strike gold when Zach Taylor jumps into action miraculously once again.


I’m sorry to say that this novel just wasn’t for me.  Initially, I was reading a version the author gave me for review, quite some time ago, and truth be told, I had trouble following the story.  Upon contacting the author about it, I found that a newer, edited version was now available, and he sent me that instead.  I was very happy to note, as I began the new version, that it is much easier to read, and it flows more steadily, however, it’s still not for me.  Now, I loved the idea of mystery and intrigue, and the morphing of stories of the late 1800s and post WWII was very interesting.  I also enjoyed finding out the truth behind Michael Aniston, Henry Galloway, Idris, and the aristocracy, and how everything was connected, but the story itself still jumped around a little too much for me to really make a deep connection with any of the characters, or their plights. The novel itself seemed too move too quickly at times, and too slowly at others, and though I enjoyed the premise, it just wasn’t for me.  I think those who like war stories complete with mystery and intrigue will really enjoy this story though, as it has a very historic feel and contains a very interesting secret.  I, personally, can only give it two and a half stars, though.

2.5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.


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