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MICHAEL PRENTISS

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Full Name: Michael Prentiss
Nationality: British
Organization: The Detachment
Occupation Agent

Creator: Andrew French
Time Span: 2012 - 2018

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Michael Prentiss is an agent with The Detachment.
       When we first meet him he is 16 years old and likely just has completed his 5th Form but rather than continue, he has decided to take a different path. As is explained early in that recorded adventure, "Following weeks of interviews, written tests and a medical, he was at last about to embark on the army's three day assessment and selection course. A naturally gifted student, he had received pressure from both his parents and teachers alike to continue with his education and go to university. Prentiss however was adamant. He'd had enough of studying; all he wanted now was some adventure and excitement. He had known for a year that he wanted an army career following an inspiring careers talk from a Parachute Regiment Sergeant Major. This had fired his imagination. Night after night he could be seen running for miles through the streets of Grantham building up his stamina and fitness. His broad back and muscular shoulders were the result of the three hour training sessions, four times a week using cast iron free weights at the local gym."
       He had his "heart set on the Royal Military Police" but as he quickly learns, those doing the interviewing have come up with an alternate path for the young man. In the final interview where he was told the Intelligence branch was interested in him instead of the RMP, a civilian sitting but not speaking commented afterwards that Prentiss was "perfect" for what he had in mind. That man was Colonel Mabbitt of The Det.
       The Detachment was the "more colloquially known" name for the Fourteenth Intelligence Company. It was usually shortened to just The Det. As a recruiter for it tells applicants, "the primary role of this unit is to gather intelligence on terrorist activities both in Northern Ireland and, more recently, here on the mainland. The work we do is dangerous. You may have to endure long periods undercover, often with only yourself to rely on. Officially we don't exist. You can put away those smart uniforms of yours because you won't be needing them any more. This is a covert unit. Grow your hair, cultivate some facial hair if you wish, ladies excepted unless you want to of course; because I don't want you to look like soldiers any more. That way you might live a little longer. We are fighting an enemy with no honour that plays a very dirty game. But let me tell you, we play dirty too. There are no Marquis of Queensbury rules here, no niceties observed merely because we are part of Her Majesty's armed forces. Our job is to stop these people at all and any cost and I can assure you that, regrettably, occasionally that cost is great."

       While Prentiss is, in my opinion, the main focus of this series, his actions would not be the same without several key people in it.
       First and foremost is Colonel Mabbitt, the leader of The Det and a man who will send Prentiss into several very iffy situations and just hope for the best. They will come to have a special bond, almost that of father-and-son.
       Then there is Richard Jordan, a senior agent with The Det but not so senior he is not still out in the field and still able to teach the young Prentiss a thing or three. Their close friendship will be very important and useful for keeping each other alive more than once.
       And there is, or will be as the series progresses, Angela Lane, a young police inspector with Special Branch who will come to have a romantic relationship with Prentiss but who will not lose the independence and the drive that made her noticeable to Prentiss. Just as with Jordan, she will help keep Prentiss alive just as he will her, all while each is making living more enjoyable for the other.

       Oh, one final note. As Prentiss ages and comes and goes with The Det, he will find a secondary profession to earn his keep when he is not asked to track down and sometimes eliminate enemies of the state. He studies to be a licensed Funeral Director.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:2012
Last Appearance:2018

Note: plot synopses in quotes are publisher blurbs.


1 Assassin's Run Assassin's Run
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2012

The year is 1980. In Northern Ireland, when a British agent is murdered after learning of a plot by an American to fund an IRA splinter group, it is necessary to find someone who would get close to the group without being suspected. The highly unusual choice of new Royal Army recruit, 16-year-old Michael Prentice, was certainly an unexpected one.
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2 The Ares File The Ares File
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2012

The year is 1984. The young Michael Prentiss has changed considerably from the 16-year-old who had seen so much death four years before. But now death has come to the wife of his old boss, Colonel Mabbitt, and soon it will come after Prentiss because some of those who had survived the earlier incidents want to keep their involvement permanently quiet.
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3 Personal Retributions Personal Retributions
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2013

The year is 1986. Michael Prentiss has gotten over his injuries from his 'car accident' (as he tells his neighbors) and is back at his normal job at a funeral home. Then he is visited by his friend and fellow former agent, Richard Jordan, who tells him that someone is causing considerable trouble for their old boss, Colonel Mabbitt, and that man needs their help as he is being accused of murder. It falls to Prentiss and Jordan to prove him innocent.
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4 Rules of the Game Rules of the Game
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2013

The year is 1987. Barely recovered from his injuries from his 'rock-climbing' accident and working again at the funeral home, Michael Prentiss receives a late night call from Colonel Mabbitt urgently requesting help. At the meeting place, he finds not Mabbitt but some very angry villains from his past. It seems Mabbitt's Detachment has stirred up the hornets and they are out stinging all his associates.
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5 At All Costs At All Costs
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2015

The year is 1988. Michael Prentiss has returned yet again to the funeral business and the love of his life, Angela Lane, is recovered from her injuries from the previous adventure. Still at Special Branch, she is asked to help out a sister department by going undercover as a mad bomber named Marsh. When she disappears, Prentiss is certain she need the help of him and his friends, Colonel Mabbitt and Richard Jordan.
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6 Set A Thief Set A Thief
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2016

The year is 1989. Michael Prentiss knows he is done with the secret operations for his friend, Colonel Mabbitt. The thrill he once felt was gone and the risk of losing his happiness with Angela Lane was too great. Then a woman claiming to be from the Ministry of Defense comes asking for his help again and when he says now, she gets very, very insistent. Then someone from Richard Jordan's past returns and he and Prentiss will both find themselves in the thick of things.
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7 The Reckoning The Reckoning
Written by Andrew French
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1991. An old enemy from the IRA has decided to use someone to take out three people he had particular hatred for: Michael Prentiss, Richard Jordan, and Angela Lane. To get back at them, he has hired a very, very nasty female assassin with orders to "individually or collectively you are to capture, torture and kill all three after as much collateral damage as you can manage first. Friends, loved ones, you know the drill". This is just the sort of work the killer enjoyed.
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MY COMMENTS

       This is one quite excellent series. Not only is the writing smooth and easy to follow while also being darn good at setting the scene and the mood, the characters are described in remarkably short order so as to make them understandable and believable and quite often unstereotypical. Bad guys are bad guys - you know that instantly but each one has a different path to there and that is interesting to learn without bogging down. Kudos to the author for that alone.
       And the series progresses. Four years between the first and second. A couple between the second and third. Time for the characters to age and, in the case of Prentiss, mature. His growth comes with a whole lot of pain and suffering - the bad guys are really good at their job, so it is good to see not only does he had the time to realistically heal, no leaping from one injury to the next adventure, he has something else to do while that healing takes place.
       I strongly recommend this series.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

Your Average Grade:   A++-

YOUR OPINIONS

AFrench - 2020-05-14

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my Michael Prentiss series. I''m delighted you enjoyed them. I''m currently about to begin writing book 8!


mandybaker86 A++- 2020-05-18

One of, if not the, best series I''ve ever read! French''s writing style is like nothing I''ve ever read! He has a way of making you cringe, while having to know what happens next at the same time. He also makes you fall in love with the main characters over and over again, and feel their hurt, their joy, and their loss. I can''t recommend this series more!


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