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Full Name: Kay Hamilton
Nationality: American
Organization: Callahan Group
Occupation Agent

Creator: M. A. Lawson
Time Span: 2013 - 2017


Kay Hamilton is an agent with the Callahan Group.

This private sector enterprise is described as a "shadowy quasi-governmental agency" which says a lot about it while not giving that much away. It is shadowy in that very few people know about it which is how its founder, Thomas Callahan, wants it. It is an agency in that it provides a particular service, 'typically one that involves organizing transactions between two other parties' - in this case it is often the U.S. government requesting the service. It is quasi-governmental in that it is not officially a part of the legitimate authorities but it can certainly call upon its resources easily enough.

Callahan likes to tell new recruits the story of how his Group got started, how he was an assistant to the National Security Council when he was picked by then President George W. Bush to start an unoffical organization to do things Congress should not know about and how he now reports directly to the President's "man" to get orders and to deliver reports. He enjoys relaying it because it is fun to say. It is also not the least bit true. As the series moves, it becomes clear that several high ranking officials in the "real" intelligence community have started the Group and chosen Callahan to run it and that they provide the funding and give the orders, not the President. Much more than that is not yet clear.

Hamilton is at the start of the series not a member of the Group; she had not idea it existed nor would she have cared. She was a dedicated DEA agent with a proven track record for doing whatever it took to get the job done and she was good at it. She was also in charge of a team of agents in southern California and she was most assuredly not good at that. Hamilton is determined to do what is needed and no one, not the bad guys or her team or anyone else had been get in the way because though she did not have the mass for it, she had the force of a steamroller and the willingness to use it. Abrasive is a good word to describe her. So is a five-letter word beginning with 'b'.

She is not a bad person by any means - she just wants to do her work. It is her life and except for the occasional fling that is far more physical than emotional, that is all she has. As the series progresses she will begin to change as her life changes around her but at the beginning, she is highly effective and highly unpleasant. Then when her estranged daughter is put into imminent danger she has to act and that action costs her her job but gives her something better.

Unemployed, she is told at the beginning of the second adventure about the Callahan Group and her life changes even more, as does she.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2017

1 Rosarito Beach Rosarito Beach
Written by M. A. Lawson
Copyright: 2013

As the head of a team in the DEA out to take down a major drug lord's foray into California, Kay Hamilton is achieving impressive results despite angering everyone. Then the drug lord kidnaps her daughter and the gloves come off.
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2 Viking Bay Viking Bay
Written by M. A. Lawson
Copyright: 2015

Let go by the DEA, Kay Hamilton is offered a job with the Callahan Group, a "shadowy quasi-governmental agency". She is pulled from her training to take part in a major mission to help an Afghan warlord set up a new government to further a mining deal. Then the project is betrayed and Hamilton nearly killed. Now she is ticked.
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3 K Street K Street
Written by M. A. Lawson
Copyright: 2017

As Kay Hamilton was heading into the office to resign from the Callahan Group, a team of bank robbers are finishing up a heist there which killed several and left Callahan clinging to life. He manages to whisper a name to her that will pit her against a group even more mysterious than her own boss.
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I remain a huge fan of Mike Lawson (aka M. A. Lawson) and his terrific Joe DeMarco stories. The plots are always terrifically thought out and presented. The characters are real and believable and in the case of DeMarco and his friend and frequent savior, Emma, someone you enjoy following. DeMarco has his flaws but he is a pleasant guy nevertheless. That adjective would NEVER be applied to Kay Hamilton, at least not as she is with the DEA. Later she mellows a tiny bit but at the beginning - yikes!

My journey each workday to and from my employer's office takes a half hour and I make that time fly by through the joy that is audio books. I pick the volumes carefully and I have picked a DeMarco or two in the process. When I saw the first two Hamilton books I bought the audio version and added them to my to-be-heard pile. When the time came to listen to them and I started the first adventure, I also started the first of many "oh, shut up!" to Kay Hamilton. She was that annoying. Darn good at getting the bad guys and wonderfully efficient and bad-ass and kick-butt and all that I love in a protagonist but, dear Lord, she was annoying. If you needed a way to tick off, well, anyone, you could check with Hamilton and she would provide.

But the story was as fantastic as I would expect from Mr. Lawson and so I enjoyed every minute Hamilton was not being herself. Then the second book came and Hamilton was still Hamilton but just not so forthright. Do not misunderstand. She was still not someone I would like to have dinner with but I would not have been so ready to run her over in the parking lot. The third adventure she was, believe it or not, better yet.

The stories have not changed, though. They are still very, very good and I hope there will be more. I do not ever expect to get to a place where Hamilton is someone I'd invite over to watch a baseball game, unless I needed a bodyguard. She is someone whose adventure I enjoy following.


My Grade: A-


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