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Jack Allen

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Change of Heart
by Jack Allen   

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Publisher:  Burping Frog Publishing ISBN-10:  0907305303 Type: 


Copyright:  Jun 1 2001

Barnes &
Burping Frog Publishing
Baker & Taylor

The first in a series of new adventures about Joshua McGowan, the American spy with the selfless sense of honor. In Change of Heart, Josh must stop a radical branch of Communists from restoring the Party to power in Moscow. At the same time, he must decide whether he will kill the young woman used as a KGB pawn, or return her to the man she truly loves.

It started as a plan to bring the Communist Party back to power in Moscow. It turned into an act of vengeance by a former Colonel of the KGB to rid himself of a long time thorn in his side: Joshua McGowan.

Josh must fly from Baltimore across the Pacific to a remote spot only miles off the Russian coast to rescue a young woman, once a Kremlin pawn of the Colonel's and the key to his newest plan. She, however, has her own plan and won't let anyone get in her way, not even Joshua McGowan.

To stop the next Cold War, Josh must decide what is right and who must die before he kills the wrong person, or is killed himself.
“Hello?” Josh said, and stepped toward her. The light shined on her legs. She wore an old pair of jeans. As Josh got closer he saw they were much too big for her and guessed they belonged to Ron. She also wore one of his t-shirts, a paint stained University of Virginia shirt. He had a similar Navy shirt, spotted with the paint they used to fix up Ron’s beachfront house. The jeans were well down on her hips and the bottom of the shirt was up, exposing her belly button. He shined the light on her face and was startled.

This woman was a child. She had the angelic face of a girl no more than nineteen. How could a girl this young be so important to a mission like this? How could she possibly be the evil KGB whore he came so far to interrogate? Ron must have made a mistake. Knowing him, he probably fell in love with this girl and tried to sneak away with her instead.

Valeria Konstantinova. Josh remembered the way Mironov spoke her name with such venom. He caught himself staring. She was beautiful. This vision before him shared nothing with the image of a tired, older woman he had created in his mind. He pressed his fingers to her neck just below her jaw. She had a pulse. Whoever she was, she was alive and he was going to rescue her.

Professional Reviews

Shelley Glodowski, Bookwatch Magazine
In Change of Heart, we meet a Mel Gibsonesque Naval Intelligence officer named Joshua McGowan. Joshua is, on the surface, mild-mannered until he finds himself in a combat situation. The first scene finds Josh on the streets of Baltimore, stubbornly tracking an espionage operation. His own personal code of ethics requires him to follow through on one operation before tackling his overriding orders to escort a former KGB spy who has been sprung from a Russian prison by Josh’s friends in the CIA. New recruit Jerry shows the reader Josh’s amazing character: “Jerry always took that for a load of crap, until he looked into the eyes of the man sitting next to him. Josh was not just some average field agent working a tedious surveillance job for an intelligence organization. He had been changed. He was a soldier, a hardened warrior. Jerry looked away. He completely underestimated his partner. But then, how could he not? To look at Josh he’d never know what he was made of inside.” Change of Heart takes the reader for a thrill ride from the very first chapter, as Josh tries to rescue the reluctant and beautiful Valeria Konstantinov, former KGB agent, who is being used by both sides for information and power. We see the streets of Baltimore, take several helicopter rides full of thrills and spills on the way to the waters of Japan, and finally step inside the new Kremlin as the old guard makes a bid to return to power. Josh McGowan is a hero everyone will love. He is handsome, unaware of his appeal, has a moral code that is beyond most people's ken, and refuses to quit. A great start for Mr. Allen!

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