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ISHMAEL JONES

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Full Name: Ishmael Jones
Nationality: British
Organization: The Organization
Occupation Agent

Creator: Simon R. Green
Time Span: 2014 - 2018

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Ishmael Jones is an agent with the Organization.
       I would normally put the description of this individual in my own words but I really like the synopsis he gives of himself:
       "Call me Ishmael. Ishmael Jones.
       "I go walking in dangerous places, and if I do my job right no one ever knows I'm there. I work for an organization that doesn't officially exist, dealing with all the weird and unnatural things that shouldn't exist in any sane and rational world. It's my job to deal with what lurks in the shadows, on the borders of the rational, and stamp on them hard if they look like getting out of hand. To keep Humanity safe, and blissfully unaware of just how big the world really is.
       "Back in 1963 a star fell from the heavens to land in an English field. Or, to put it another way, an alien starship dropped screaming from the outer dark and buried itself in the earth. Before I left the cracked-open ship its transformation machines made me human, right down to my DNA, so I could walk the Earth unobserved. But the machines were damaged in the crash, and they wiped all my previous memories.
       "Of who and what I used to be.
       "I haven't aged a day since I first came to myself, staggering bewildered across a forgotten field, in 1963. I like to think of myself as human. It's all I ever want to be. But sometimes in my dreams I look into my mirror and catch glimpses of something else looking back at me ... Then I wake up screaming.
       "Together with my partner and my love, Penny Belcourt, I solve mysteries and protect people from all the monsters of the hidden world. And sometimes from the monsters inside people.
       "I walk among you, but I'm not one of you. Which is probably why I'm so good at seeing things and people for what they really are."

       Working beside Jones on his adventures for the Organization is the lovely and quite resourceful and always interesting Penny Belcourt, a young woman that Jones meets and falls for in the first recorded story. Of his first impressions on her he notes, "Penelope Belcourt had long dark hair, flashing dark eyes, a pretty face with a good bone structure, seriously dramatic make-up, and a smile that suggested there wasn't much she took seriously. As though the whole world was one big joke laid on for her entertainment. Just standing still, she burned with barely-suppressed nervous energy. Like someone who had a lot to give and was just looking for the right person to give it to. She was dressed fashionably, but sensibly, for a weekend in the winter countryside. No jewelry, as though she didn't want anything about her that might distract you from looking at her."

       Together they make a very interesting and fun pair to follow. They both work for the Colonel, a man who exudes an air of power and danger and who met Jones fifteen years before the first adventure and makes him an offer to work for a group he runs called the Organization. "Whatever that might be. Some day, I hope to find out exactly who and what I'm working for. It would be nice to know. But as long as the Colonel continues to protect me from all the people who want to find me; and as long as he keeps pointing me in the direction of really bad people who need taking down; and as long as he keeps paying me really good money to do it … I'm happy to go along."
       Prior to the Colonel and his offer of employment, Jones had worked for "Black Heir", described by the Colonel as "the United Kingdom's very own department for alien affairs. Real aliens, that is. Visitors from Beyond, and all that. They will keep coming here, even if no one on Earth knows why. Someone has to clean up the mess they leave behind and cover up the damage when things get out of hand. The general public is much better off not knowing who and what walks among them, unseen. I was given to understand that you had a really good track record at Black Heir. A real gift for tracking down those who had gone … off reservation. And for keeping a lid on things, with a deft and only occasionally violent hand." Jones left Black Heir when someone "higher up the political good chain decided that the old ways, of containment and observation and handing out the occasional spanking, just wasn't good enough."
       The work that Jones and Penny do is a cross between what a secret agent would do and what a private eye would do but is always unusual and thrilling.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:2014
Last Appearance:2018

1 The Dark Side Of The Road The Dark Side Of The Road
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2014

When his mysterious employer, the Colonel, invites Ishmael Jones to a fancy but secluded mansion to be part of a gathering, he figured it was more an order than a request, especially since there was a blizzard brewing. When he arrives, he finds that the Colonel missing and that one of the guests is likely a murderer.
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2 Dead Man Walking Dead Man Walking
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2016

The appearance of a rogue agent who wants to be brought in from the field arouses suspicions in the Organization and Ishmael Jones is told to check into the man and his motives. This takes Jones to Ringstone Lodge in Yorkshire where a series of eerie events make people think the supernatural is at work but Jones is more pragmatic.
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3 Very Important Corpses Very Important Corpses
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2016

At an annual meeting of a very secret but powerful group called the Baphamet, it is suspected that an impostor has joined in. The agent sent to learn more has been murdered in her room. The Organization sends Ishmael Jones and his partner, Penny, to find out the truth of the member and learn who kill the agent.
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4 Death Shall Come Death Shall Come
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2017

It is off to Cardavan House for Ismael Jones and Penny, where the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts is housed. When a bloody corpse is found next to the latest acquisition, a mummy, it is suspected a curse must be happening. Jones is not so believing.
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5 Into The Thinnest Of Air Into The Thinnest Of Air
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2017

At the re-opening a historic Tyrone's Castle, a Cornish inn first founded by pirates, the guests are having fun telling old ghost stories until one of them disappears. And then another. Ishmael Jones and Penny are part of the group and are determined to find the truth.
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6 Murder In The Dark Murder In The Dark
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2018

Why is there a black hole that suddenly appear on a Somerset hill? Is a dimensional rift with another world on the other side? Scientists are hurrying there to investigate and the Organization sends Ishmael Jones and Penny there as well.
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7 Til Sudden Death Do Us Part Til Sudden Death Do Us Part
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2019

Ishmael Jones had not seen his old friend for 40 years but when the man called up asking for help, Jones could not say no. The man's daughter was getting married but the horrible events happening make it seem like she has been cursed, staring with the strange death of the local vicar.
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8 Night Train To Murder Night Train To Murder
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2020

The Organization has learned that a government bigwig, Sir Dennis Gregson, soon to be the head the the British Psychic Weapons Division, is in danger. It sends Ishmael Jones and Penny to travel with him to ensure safe arrival.
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9 The House On Widows Hill The House On Widows Hill
Written by Simon R. Green
Copyright: 2020

Ishmael Jones and Penny are asked to join a group staying at Harrow House, a restored mansion in a remote region. The building is said to be haunted and other members of the group, there to prove it true, are a ghost hunter, a psychic, an historian, and a reporter.
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MY COMMENTS

       Without a doubt this entry in the compendium is one of the stranger ones but since it is written by a man as incredibly talented as Simon R. Green, weird is not only expected, it is wildly desired. He can take what should have been a mundane situation and throw in a twist to make it new and unusual and fun to follow.
       Having someone like Ishmael Jones, alien and secret agent, to follow is a hoot. Mr. Green has several other series he pens so it is uncertain if he will return to Jones any time soon but if he does, I'll be there as well.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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