Book Review: A Spy Came Home (Mac Ambrose Book 1) by H.N. Wake


What if I told you the author of this book has an in-depth background in international relations and an even stronger interest in politics? What if I then went on to tell you, that for the last 20 years, she has worked primarily for the US Government? What if I also told you that this author has written a book – a spy thriller – a work of fiction, but the words of an insider.

Book Description:

The Anonymous Make History

A mission. A conspiracy. Two veteran agents face-off in a daring cat-and-mouse game that could change the nation.

Gritty, gutsy Mac Ambrose is a twenty-year veteran of the CIA with a penchant for risk-taking and a strong moral conscience. She is recruited by her closest friends to run a dangerous domestic operation: bring down the powerful gun lobby so the Senate can pass new legislation. In four weeks.

From Washington’s corridors of power, to Kentucky’s rolling hills and New Orleans’s wealthy suburbs, Mac baits the snares for a corrupt lawmaker, an unscrupulous lobbyist, and a crooked gun manufacturer. From a safe house in Philadelphia, she begins to rebuild the life–and to reconnoiter the love–forsaken years ago in the name of national security.

But Cal Bertrand, the dogged ATF agent with a checkered past and a lot to prove, is hot on her trail. Will he uncover Mac and the conspiracy before the traps go off?

Corruption, sabotage, and intrigue combine into one gratifyingly taut and intricate novel that could only have been written by an insider.

My Thoughts:

Let me introduce you to the team:

Mac Ambrose – Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) veteran

Penny Navarro – Lawyer

Freda Browne – Newspaper editor

Laura Franklin – self-made billionaire

Now you’ve met the team; together they have 4 weeks to bring down the Society for Guns (SFG) so the Senate can pass a new assault weapons ban. This story spans those 4 weeks, and as each week passed, the thrill increased.

I’m not going to talk you through the execution of their great plan but I will tell you it’s an interesting and enjoyable read. Wake knows what she’s talking about, an exceptionally well thought-out plot! Mac is working to destabilise the SFG in an unauthorised domestic operation; she is now a rouge agent that needs to be brought in, the race is on, can she complete the mission? With its short chapters, this book is a fast-paced read, wrought with tension.

Mac is not the only veteran in this story, we also meet Cal Bertrand, a veteran with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); unbeknown to him, he is part of Mac’s plan, these two enter a nice game of cat and mouse as Cal is determined to be the one who brings this rouge agent in.

I don’t live in the US so some of the terminology used in this book was quite new to me but what I really appreciated was that, despite my lack of knowledge of American politics, this story was easy to follow. Again, my knowledge of gun control is not extensive, do I understand the role of Senators and the overall purpose of the Senate, not really, did this take away from my read, not at all! Wake gives you enough information to follow and understand the story. You’re pulled into this tale of espionage; I couldn’t help but be sympathetic to the plight of Mac and her friends and found myself praying the weapons assault ban would come to pass. I was so caught up in this story, a powerful team of women, headed by Mac Ambrose, fight gun crime and corruption.

Mac is such a likable character and I can’t wait to catch up with her in book 2. Wake also gives us an insight into Mac’s past, we learn why she became an agent and what she sacrificed to become one; learning these things only makes you like her more. As a sucker for a backstory, I hope this is something we continue to see in the next book.

Overall, this is great start to a new series, one that I can’t wait to continue and definitely recommend. The plot is clever and compelling, it’s hard to believe this is Wake’s first novel. Yes, H.N. Wake is writing under a pseudonym, knowing this fact alone adds a whole nother level of thrill to this book. Yes, this a work of fiction but as we sip our coffee and read our books – how much do we really know?

*I received a digital copy of this book from the author for review purposes*

This book is available to buy now from: Amazon UK


7 thoughts on “Book Review: A Spy Came Home (Mac Ambrose Book 1) by H.N. Wake

  1. Ok this sounds like a great read! Excellent review Janel, you told us just enough without giving away too much of the plot details. I’m always drawn to a good spy thriller, I love the idea of the secrets surrounding the CIA and those involved with it

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Erm, I’d say my recommendation is more on the cleverness of the plot if that makes sense, the smartness of the actions of the characters – if that makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with the writing, it suits the story. I hope that answers the question 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

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