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Full Name: Max Austin
Nationality: Russian
Organization: KGB
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jack Arbor
Time Span: 2016 - 2022


Max Austin is a former assassin for the KGB.

When we first meet him, he is retired from that organization. That is to say, the KGB does not exist anymore since the government for which it functioned had ceased to exist. Seeing a chance to get out from their control, Austin used the confusion to move to Paris and create a new life and new identity for himself. He bought into a jazz club and now makes a fair living.

He augments that income by using his old training and taking an occasional "job" for a very limited group of people, by which I mean he does the odd hit when the intended target falls within Austin's personal set of criteria warranting elimination.

Austin's preferred weapon for use in eliminating his targets is the garrote, his preferred version of which was two strands of piano wire secured at each end by wooden dowels called a la loupe. The two strands were created by using one long piece of wire, coiled to create the double strands such that if the victim was able to get his hand between the wire and his neck, "they'd only succeed in making the other coil tighter". I mention to to show how disciplined and conscientious Austin is in his job. Of course, for backup he routinely has a SIG Sauer P224, a subcompact, in a shoulder holster.

Now, when we meet him for the first time, he is Mikhail Asimov, nicknamed Max, who hails from Minsk in what is now the country of Belarus but when he was born, it was one of the states in the Soviet Union. His was an odd upbringing. He and his younger sister, Arina, had a mother who, at least to Max, was "cold and distant, uninvolved in his childhood, often judgmental and harsh". It was his father, Andrei, who was the parent both spent the most time with and this is an important fact because all through their formulative years, Andrei was considered one of the best agents the KGB had. "Such was the life of the children of one of Moscow's most celebrated spies. While the other kids were playing stickball, Max and Arina had been learning tradecraft from their father."

"At sixteen, Max had left Minsk to attend military school in Moscow. From there he'd disappeared into the Russian Army, then the KGB. During the infrequent visits home, all his time had been spent with his father." Then the USSR dissolved, Max left for Paris and his new job (or jobs) and time passed. Until his distant mother caught cancer and had only a short time to live and Max heads back to Minsk and all sorts of troubles ensue.

And in the smoke of all that trouble will step Kate Shaw, described a force of nature all her own, working as a major player in the CIA and someone who will offer Max a new life when his previous one explodes, literally. Working for the Agency while they help him find out who attacked his family. And use the killing skills he had developed with the KGB to work for its former biggest rival.

Oh, he is given a new identity. The Agency has suggested Max Sienkiewicz. He said no and picked for himself the name Max Austin.


Number of Books:6
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2022

1 The Russian Assassin The Russian Assassin
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2016

The peaceful like Max Austin had created for himself in Paris is destroyed when his mother's ailing health pulled him back to the former Soviet Union and into a mystery which threatens him and his sister and nephew.
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2 The Pursuit The Pursuit
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2016

As he tries to stay alive while he and his family are being hunted by the same people who killed his parents, Max Austin knows he has no one to help, no one except one of his oldest enemies. test.
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3 The Attack The Attack
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2017

The Consortium that Max Austin is hunting is on the offensive against him and when an horrific terrorist attack in London is pinned on Austin, the chase changes direction quickly.
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4 The Hunt The Hunt
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2019

Max Austin is given the horrible choice of saving a good friend or saving his family. This decision will take him from the desert of Turkey to the US capitol to Cyprus with someone dogging his steps as he tries to find who is out to kill Kate Shaw.
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5 The Abyss The Abyss
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2020

On Christmas Eve while trying to recover from injuries in Colorado, Max Austin and Kate are attacked anew and must go on the run once more. Then Austin learns that the major intelligence agencies in the world are after a hidden stash of documents that expose the activity of the Russian secret service, all because of Austin's father. Now Austin knows he has to try for them as well.
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6 Endgame Endgame
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2022

"Max Austin has secured the Vienna Archive, an extensive hoard of secret documents that exposes the underbelly of the Russian empire. He's desperately seeking answers. Answers to help him end his family's nightmare. The answers elude him, and the archive puts a gigantic target on his back.
Pursued by the world's most elite intelligence agencies, Max puts into motion a brazen plan to end the kommissar's threat to his sister and nephew once and for all."
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Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2016

1 Cat & Mouse Cat & Mouse
Written by Jack Arbor
Copyright: 2016

Happy in his new life in Paris, Max Austin is surprised to see on the street a woman who closely resembles his ex-fiancée. Wanting to learn more, he investigates which gets him in the crosshairs of an assassin.
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Max Austin is a fellow who gets around a lot and had one impressive pedigree and resume. Father was a top notch Soviet spy with the KGB. Daddy trained son and daughter and son heads off to the military as soon as they would take him and then becomes a spy like Papa. Then his country and his organization disappears and he is on his own so a new home and a new occupation and life goes on. Except for the people he kills on contract. Then a trip home for his dying mother and he is thrown back into the cloak and dagger world only this time for the CIA.

That is impressive. So is the writing of these very well-crafted tales which lets you see this cold-blooded killer is not all cold-blooded but he is always capable of being a killer.

The adventures are a lot of fun to read and totally worth the time. I recommend them.


My Grade: A-


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