Donovan House: My review

Donavan’s Island

Daniel Neff


Five young teens called the Donavan Five decide to explore a cave to find buried pirate treasure. Using his father’s boat, Colby and his friends venture out on a beautiful morning where the waters appear to be calm. But, waves rage, the water surges and the five wind up in the cold icy water and thought to drown. Max Velius is thirteen years old and cannot understand why no one wants to investigate or try and recover the bodies of the five young teens. The memory of his close friend Colby who protected him from the cruelty of the other boys would remain with him forever.


That was 1973 and let’s fast forward to the 2010 and Max’s life with his wife Diana and two children as they venture to spend the summer on Donavan’s Island unaware that the past is about to come full circle in the present and the adventures he hoped to live in the past would definitely come true in the present. As author Daniel Neff gives the reader the history of the island and the covert operations that are happening right under noses of the residents there as Spain is hoping to make its mark in the world, hidden agents are operating out of the island and an intelligence device called MC2 will give them the power to reign over everyone on in the world of intelligence and spying. But, there is much more as Max and his family arrive at the island and their dog finds something that is linked to the past. A simple cylinder that his dog finds and he emails a photo of to a friend in the Pentagon who tells him to return the cylinder to where it was found, delete the photos and forget he ever found it. Something sinister is lurking and Max decides to find out more and hides it in his study not to be found by anyone. Added in he visits the small town, remembers the past and his first true love, Mary and the reunion allows the reader to know there is much more that will happen between them before all is said and done. Max is rich, has a great wife and yet he feels he has no purpose in life and laments about what would happen if he were single and could explore the ocean, the world and life’s excitements on his own.


Getting to know Max and his family is quite enlightening and the descriptions of Donavan’s Island and Donavan House provide the intrigue and mystery associated with this story plus wanting to learn more about the rumors that ghosts, aliens, spies and sightings are associated with this house.


Pasts come into play and in focus when you least expect it as Diana meets an old flame of Max’s in a change meeting in town. Approaching Mary, seem uncomfortable, inner thoughts are shared and the end result might surprise the reader as Diana relates her meeting to Max who never revealed he knew Mary was on the island or owned a restaurant. Added in his both his son Bobby’s spirit for excitement and adventure as well as Max’s undying curiosity about what lies behind the walls of the old Donavan House. Consumed with learning more about the cylinder his dog Dusty uncovered, he negates the warning given to him by his old friend and decides to investigate on his own.

Max is relentless is his quest to learn the truth about the device he found and visit to an old friend’s store might stir things up more than he would like. Just how is this man related to the device and is there a covert operation going on or spy ring on Donavan’s Island? What if Spain becomes a world power and a force to be reckoned with? Wouldn’t that change the complexion of the countries and how they view Spain? Interesting to say the least and the author really keeps the reader wondering and glued to the printed page to learn more.


What is really going on inside Donovan House? From the outside it looks rundown, shabby and depilated, and mysterious, lights go on but what is really going on inside Donavan House? Just who is monitoring Max and his every move that is a secret that the agent in charge asked me to divulge. Lies, deceptions and betrayals will come out eventually and spies are everywhere if you just know where to look. Hiding in plain sight they could serve you coffee, tea, food or even dinner. You just don’t know whom to trust, who is an agent and for which side. Is Max in danger? That remains to be seen. Will he be inducted into the agency to stay alive? That remains to be seen. What would happen if he and Bill decided to turn them down?


What happens next will surprise even Max and his friend Bill as they go out for a boating trip, get attacked by two Spanish operatives, injected with something to put them out and will find themselves embroiled in a situation they won’t get out of so fast as two old friends come face to face after 30 years and what Max learns will definitely change his life and enlighten him to the term MC2 and much more. Just how many more people are involved well let’s not forget the Spanish agents we have yet to get to know better: Cordero and Aragon. Imagine what happens when he wakes up and sees someone that would change his life.


What would happen if you had to make a choice that would change the rest of your life? Would you enlist as an agent or would you chance the end result of what they might do to you if you decline? What about your family? Max and Bill are about to learn their fate. But, the training begins and the deceit and lies are told but will Diana realize that Max is up to something and what about his feelings for Mary? Just how far will they have to go to be part of this agency and what will their first mission be? What about the MC2 and will Max learn the true origin of it and that he had it all the time? As Max and Bill become more involved in spy work things change at home for both of them. Max seems enamored with Mary and finds he needs to spend time with her as Diana suspects something is going on between them. Bill is unaware of what Melissa planted on him as the Spanish are now tracking the Americans planning their own mission and hoping to override their security to get their hands on the MC2. Just how will this all play out and who else will be in danger? Eyes are everywhere and one older woman has her fixed on two agents who are unaware that she could blow it all up in their faces? But, will she?


An ending you won’t see coming and a mission that puts both Max and Bill in danger as one life ends and the truth about another is exposed. Donavan’s Island: what will happen next? Will Max return to the mainland? Will he and Diana find their way back to each other? This is only the beginning our two spies. I cannot wait to see what author Daniel Neff has in store. This book teaches many lessons that even young kids can learn. The respectful way all of the children interact with each other and their parents is really great. The way Diana and Max interact with Mary shows that Diana has respect for him but what are his true feelings for her? Wait and see in the next book. Donavan’s Island: One summer vacation that proved to be more exciting for two men who just wanted to have some fun and rest. Donavan House: who knows what else you will find behind the closed doors of this rundown house. Max: the purpose you wanted in life: did you find one?


Fran Lewis: reviewer


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