Monday 11 July 2022



Synopsis/blurb ...

He can out shoot, out think, out fight, and out love any other secret agent on the planet - get out of the way James Bond before your tux gets rumpled!

McHugh lands a Caribbean island assignment: Stir up a revolution, topple the world's most brutal dictator, smash the secret police whose methods start with torture and get a lot worse from there, help the revolutionaries, and stop the revolution before it goes too far in the other direction. It's just another day's work for McHugh.

When he arrives, he has everything the government thinks he will need for the job: One bottle of tablets in case of Montezuma's Revenge. Three days rations. A small radio. Bug repellent. Extra clothes, the minimum two pistols with extra ammo. A pair of delicately balanced throwing knives. And three pints of Scotch. He also must rescue another U.S. agent from the dungeon of the island's most impregnable prison - but that's the easy part. All he has to do is survive days of torture, the kisses of a revolutionary who is as ruthless as she is beautiful, a deadly double-cross, and the lack of a decent scotch when his own supply runs out.

Viva McHugh! is the third of five McHugh books from author Jay Flynn. I've enjoyed the first two - McHugh and It's Murder, McHugh previously. 

McHugh works for the CIA in addition to being a bar owner in San Francisco. Here he leaves the bar behind and is on an unnamed Caribbean island with fellow agent Chapman trying to make contact with an undercover operative who hasn't been seen or heard from for a few months. 

We have a surrepticious island entry, which isn't quite secret enough, followed by evasion, some sneaking around, a prison breakout, capture, interrogation, escape, car-jacking, bar visits, rebels, cadres, embassy contacts, scrapes, set-ups, betrayal, shoot-outs, discontent, an uprising, a hostage situation and more.

It's an enjoyable enough action/adventure novel with espionage/spy undertones. It's maybe a little bit dated. There's no real nuance to it. We know who the good guys and bad guys are. There's no real US involvement here other than a desire to gets their agent out if possible and discover whether he was captured or willingly went over to the other side. Washington isn't assassinating heads of state, propping up juntas, providing military aid to suppress the local populace or exploiting the island for it's raw materials.

Nothing startling, nothing amazing, nothing boring, just bang averagely enjoyed.

3 from 5

Read - (listened to) July, 2022

Published - 1960

Page count - 171 (4 hrs 44 mins)

Source - Audible purchase

Format - Audible


  1. The Caribbean setting is interesting, Col. But if I'm being honest, this doesn't sound like one for me. As always, your review is great, though, and it does sound action-packed!