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SOPHIE DECKER

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Full Name: Sophie Decker
Nationality: German
Organization: Department 89
Occupation Agent

Creator: Mark O'Neill
Time Span: 2017 - 2020

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Sophie Decker is an agent with Department 89.
       She is the head of it, actually, but since it is a very, very small organization, she is also its most senior and its best agent. She is also the founder.
       When we first meet her, there is no Department 89. She is a captain in German Military Intelligence and apparently has been for some time. Exactly how long is not mentioned but it is long enough for her to have acquired a very strong and lasting reputation. This is good in that she is known for getting the job done. This is bad because she does things her way, regardless of her instructions.
       "She was always getting into trouble. If her superiors were asked, they would say that Decker's main weakness was that she took far too much initiative, whereas others would be more cautious by reporting in and requesting orders. While initiative was generally commendable, Decker got into trouble because her idea of initiative would quickly turn to recklessness and a bad attitude with her superior officers. The military tended to call that 'insubordination'."
       The amusing thing about this is that she is smart enough to know that following orders is vital for an officer who in turn expects those under him/her to do the same. She just has very little good to say about most of those over her and doing what they say is so often and so obviously wrong, disobeying is second nature.
       If she had followed orders and done as she was told, the current Chancellor of Germany, Claudia Meyer, would have been assassinated in the first recorded adventure and Decker, if she had not already been drummed out of the service, would have certainly died with her. But being Decker, she listened to herself and followed her instincts and save the country's leader.
       And gotten shot in the process. To Decker, "getting shot was a bitch. The trouble was it was a habit she always seemed to be getting into, no matter how hard she tried to avoid it. Trouble followed her around like a bad smell. Her colleagues had given her the nickname 'Jinx' because to them, that's what she was. When she was with them, danger came calling, and it usually ended in blood, tears, and death. What her nickname was behind her back, she didn't dare speculate."
       Saving Meyer would change her life. Meyer saw the need for a very tiny organization to be her private problem-solver. She needed someone she could trust to head it. Thus was born, at the end of that first Decker adventure, Department 89.
       It was "virtually unknown to anyone inside the German government. Inside the government, there are only two people who are aware of its existence - the chancellor and the chancellor's chief of staff". "Confining the knowledge of Department 89's existence was essential. If the department became public knowledge, the scandal would instantly bring down the government and quite possibly send the German chancellor to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Department 89 is tasked with both domestic and international situations, and has been described as “the chancellor's personal hit-squad”. Completely unsanctioned by the German Bundestag parliament and totally illegal by any definition, Department 89 took care of situations which conventional law enforcement methods could not deal with, due to the constraints of German, European Union, and international law. As far as Department 89 were concerned, there were no limits. They were ruthless, highly fit, and without morals and qualms. They operated in the darkest corners of government and many ordinary citizens owed their lives to them, without them ever knowing who their guardian angels really were."
       Now with the help of her second-in-command, Lt. Schmitz, Decker has a much larger mandate. Which for her means a lot more chances to get shot.

BOOKS

Number of Books:13
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2020

1 The Renegade Spy The Renegade Spy
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2017

The German Chancellor is the target marked for assassination by the Scorpion, a very nasty international killer anxious for the €20 million payday. Captain Sophie Decker is put in charge of keeping her alive. This shows how Department 89 got its start.
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2 The Reichsbank Gold The Reichsbank Gold
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2017

In 1945, the Nazis moved all its gold reserves into salt mines but some never arrived. Now in 2017 as general election campaigning gets underway, right-wing extremists are terrorizing the streets and the gold is connected. Sophie Decker of Department 89 is told to stop the terrorists and find the gold.
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3 The Executioner The Executioner
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2017

A German agent who has infiltrated Russia's FSB has been discovered and is being interrogated. Department 89 and Sophie Decker is directed to head to Russia and either get the agent out or eliminate him. Unfortunately, the Russians know she is coming.
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4 Sovereign Territory Sovereign Territory
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2017

An official at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, while quite drunk, crashes his car onto a playground and six children are killed. When he claims diplomatic immunity and the Ambassador backs him us, Department 89 and Sophie Decker are told to find what hold the man has on his boss and find a way to counter it.
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5 The Assassin's Child The Assassin's Child
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2018

When Sophie Decker of Department 89 was a little girl living in East Germany, she lived with a drunken father who was part of the Stasi, as well as the man who sexually abused her. Now many years later, her mission to Weimar where she had lived brings it all back and she wants revenge.
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6 The Beethoven Syndrome The Beethoven Syndrome
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2018

Near the end of WWII, German scientists create a very powerful nerve gas that was never used because the conflict ended. The gas was left in an undiscovered bunker until 2017 when construction workers rediscover it. Then the gas is stolen by old members of the Red Army Faction. Sophie Decker and Department 89 are ordered to retrieve them and eliminate the gang.
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7 The Traitor The Traitor
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2018

Since its creation, Department 89 has had one powerful enemy in the German government. He has tried twice to see it destroyed but failed. Now on what he feels is his final chance, he is determined to succeed. Sophie Decker, furious at the loss of one of her agents, is just as determined to stop him.
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8 The Peace Emissary The Peace Emissary
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2018

A diplomat from North Korea talks about how the regime there is ready to fall but the people there needs the help of the German government. That is when he is discovered and a very efficient assassin is sent to kill him. Department 89 and Sophie Decker is told to keep the man alive.
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9 Operation Eternal Vengeance Operation Eternal Vengeance
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2018

Angry their attempt to kill a traitor in Germany failed, North Korea conducts a revenge attack in the capital. Sophie Decker and Department 89 is instructed to hunt down and kill anyone involved in the act.
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10 Above The Law Above The Law
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2019

A refugee in Germany is accused of a sexual assault during a robbery. A far-right extremist group decides to get its own justice by first taking control of the town it happened in, taking as prisoners the police and the mayor. The Chancellor orders Department 89 and Sophie Decker to take back the town, no matter the cost.
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11 Regime Change Regime Change
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2019

For the past 6 months Germany has been at war with North Korea over its attack in Berlin. The struggle has hit a stand-still and allies are starting to withdraw, including the U.S. The Chancellor orders Sophie Decker and Department 89 to find a way to conduct a major attack inside Pyongyang.
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12 Operation Thunderbolt Operation Thunderbolt
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2020

Several times since its creation, Department 89 has been at odds with the CIA. Now Langley has decided to punish the small organization by wiping out its leadership starting with Sophie Decker. The team sent to get her has a surprise in store for them because now they are playing in her ballpark.
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13 The Devil Incarcerated The Devil Incarcerated
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2020

A former German soldier, Gabriel Keller, is in prison for life for murder. Also in the facility is the head of a group determined to see the death of the visiting French President. To get info on the plot, Sophie Decker of Department 89 offers Keller a deal - find the plotters and help stop the act and get his freedom.
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2019
Last Appearance:2019

1 A Very Bloody Christmas A Very Bloody Christmas
Written by Mark O'Neill
Copyright: 2019

As Christmas approaches, a threat is discovered that a major department store in Berlin is going to be bombed. The manager refuses to shut the place down during such an important sales period so Sophie Decker of Department 89 goes undercover in the place to catch the attack.
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MY COMMENTS

       Darn but I like this series. It is a very fast read, which is good because there are already a lot of adventures. I have not read them all because, well, there are a lot of them and I have so many series to check out but this one keeps drawing me back. I kinda want to see who is gonna shoot Decker next. Not that I have anything against her and she doesn't get shot all the time but she definitely has a 'damn the torpedoes, all speed ahead' approach.
       The series starts out as a police procedural in feel and it does not lose that completely but that comes a distant second to the action and adventure. And as the series progresses, there is a lot of diplomatic (and not so diplomatic) aspect to the troubles. Like a war between Germany and North Korea. Which, of course, just means that Sophie Decker of Department 89 is going to stay very, very busy.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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