Amazon Review by H Anderson, 6 April 2015
Scott Caladon combines the best of Clancy and Forsyth to create a Bond with heart for the 21st Century.
When an author brings a deep understanding of his subject matter to a well constructed and tightly written plot, the result cannot fail to entertain.
Darke Mission transports its reader from smart London to North Korea - two more diametrically opposed locations would be hard to imagine - via Costa Rica and the west coast of Scotland as it cleverly intertwines two strong plot lines (the theft of a Russian nuclear submarine, and an audacious plan to solve the precarious economic situation of the UK Government through a gold bullion heist). While novel and extraordinary, both these plots are described knowledgeably enough to engross the reader and to encourage the necessary suspension of disbelief.
JJ Darke is Bond-like in his mastery of a number of disciplines; in this case martial arts, high finance and espionage. Like Bond he has an eye for the ladies, who also have an eye for him, but is unafraid of relationships and displays real emotional attachments which only serve to make him more convincing and sympathetic as a character.
Darke Mission is reminiscent of a Tom Clancy novel and Scott Caladon clearly shares the better known author's attention to detail and love of technical description, which immediately draws in the reader and convinces him of the feasibility of the situations encountered by the protagonists. Budding financiers and geopolitical observers will smile at the references made in the book, and will enjoy the collision of the plot lines.
At 600 pages, this is a hefty first novel, but the action continues at such a pace that it's hard to put the book down. The strength of the plot lines, the richness of the narrative and the sympathy and fondness that Caladon quickly engenders for Darke (not least given the very human illness that JJ is battling) mean that time flies and pages turn at a heady pace. Caladon has succeeded in entertaining and informing his readers, and has created a character (and supporting) cast which I look forward to following in future Darke novels.
Goodreads Review by John Purvis:
Read from January 13 to 19, 2015
“Darke Mission” was published in 2014 and was written by Scott Caladon (http://www.darkemission.com). This is Mr. Caladon’s first novel and also the first in his “JJ Darke” series.
I obtained a galley of this novel for review throughhttps://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are instances of Mature Language and Violence. This Thriller novel is set in contemporary times, with action taking place in London, Scotland and North Korea. The primary character is JJ Darke, a former MI5 agent, now working in finance.
There are two main plots that are going on through the book. First, American intelligence finds evidence of a Russian nuclear missile submarine in a port on North Korea’s west coast. Deciding that the North Koreans are up to no good, a risky plan is put into place to steal the submarine.
The second plot deals with the UK government on the brink of bankruptcy. JJ Darke is head of portfolio management and investment at MAM, in London’s financial district. Darke has held many positions and has been successful at all. However, he finds himself blackmailed by a treacherous former MI5 colleague into a crazy scheme to steal billions in gold from North Korea. This will save the government from downfall, as well as give him a chance to skim off some of the billions to line his own pockets.
These plot lines have many ups and downs, and they cross paths in unexpected ways. I enjoyed the 13 hours spent reading this James Bond like thriller. I did feel that there was just a little too much included with the plot, but overall I enjoyed the story and I liked all of the characters. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to 5) out of 5.
Further book reviews I have written can be accessed athttp://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.
By Ryan Wick, 19 February 2015
The Beljanski Blog by Sylvie Beljanski
Posted on February 6, 2015 by Sylvie
Life is a novel!
When my father died in 1998, many people came to me, moved, one saying that without his products he could not have attended his son’s wedding, the other saying he would not have seen his grandchildren grow up, etc.
Moving spontaneous testimonials, rooted in very real suffering. And then, there were books in French and English explaining the research. There were newspapers and articles, also in French and in English, TV shows, films … and now a novel!
The bridge between reality and fiction has now been officially crossed: after helping so many real people, the Beljanski Products have come to help and relieve the main character of a recently published novel.
JJ Darke is head of portfolio management and investment firm in London’s financial district. While battling cancer, and trusting the Beljanski Products to help him win the fight for his life, JJ Darke finds himself being blackmailed and enters into a crazy scheme to steal billions in gold from North Korea.
When American intelligence finds evidence of a Russian nuclear missile submarine in a port on North Korea’s west coast, a risky plan is put into place to steal the submarine. Of course, in the end, our hero – in true James Bond style – will emerge cancer free, save the UK government from downfall, and skim off some billions to line his own pockets.
“Darke Mission” is Scott Caladon’s first novel and also the first in his “JJ Darke” series. A 600-page thriller with 600 pages full of action and suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward reading the next one in the series.
- See more at: http://thebeljanskiblog.com/life-novel/#more-1954
Scottish Field - Cover to Cover, 1 May 2015
Action-packed and thrilling, this novel follows JJ Darke, a former MI5 spy, lone parent and now apparently head-down worker in the finance sector. Caladon's contemporary scenes are set in several places - London, Scotland and North Korea.
With the British government on the brink of bankruptcy, the ex-spy is forced to lead an audacious heist in the heart of North Korea. Family and friends are dragged into a mire of deceit and danger.
With several exciting plot strands running throughout the story, Caladon takes the reader on a riveting journey of justice and revenge.
DARKE MISSION nominated for
The Saltire Society's 2015
First Book of the Year Award
Runner-up for Best New Fiction
2015 International Book Awards