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Full Name: Harry Nichols
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Stephen England
Time Span: 2011 - 2023


Harry Nichols is an agent with the CIA.

When we first encounter this decorated and high experienced field operative, he has been with the Agency for 15 years. Considering that the man was 38 years old at the time of the first recorded adventure, that showed the majority of his adult life had been spent working for the people at Langley.

Nichols is part of a program that is unofficially (I believe) known as the Shadow Warriors. The meaning of the name seems pretty understandable. These men and women were trained fighters who could take the battle to the enemy anywhere it was deemed necessary. The "shadow" showed that they worked without public recognition and ususally without official direction. Over the course of his one and a half decades as a Shadow Warrior, Nichols has earned the right to lead his own team and even better, choose the people who would be on that team. To Nichols, that was a very heavy responsibility he felt deeply.

Since it is a team, Harry Nichols is by no means the only member but in the recorded adventures, he is undoubtedly the main character, with the exception of a couple of short missions by others in the group. These missions are seldom routine for when the Shadow Warriors get called in, the job has become special and as is observed, "in his line of work, special meant dangerous".

Nichols is described as 6'3" on a lean frame with "the build of a runner, not a weightlifter, though he did both". It is also mentioned that he had "clear blue eyes [which] smiled disarmingly from a smooth-shaven face that had been long weathered by the elements, the smile so often nothing more than a facade to conceal the man that lay beneath." He sports black wavy hair. Working so much in the Middle East, it is not surprising that Nichols speaks Arabic like a native.

Interesting comments:

"De-humanize. He's not a man, he's a target. Just a target. That lie never got old, no matter how many times you told it to yourself."


Number of Books:8
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2023

The author of the Davis Shafron, aka Ariel, stories had already been a ways into his own series about Harry Nichols when he decided to step a tad into the universe of Russell Blake's Jet - with permission, of course. The trilogy was even first marketed as being an offshoot of the Jet series. I personally enjoy when two authors allow their characters' worlds to touch.

1 Pandora's Grave Pandora's Grave
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2011

An archaeological team working in the mountains of northern Iran suddenly goes missing. A few days later, reviews of spy satellite imagery shows a cadre of Iranian Revolutionary Guards heading into the site. Since there are American citizens among the missing and wanting any excuse to bolster his sagging poll numbers with an election nearing, the US President orders Harry Nichols and his new team into action.
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2 Day of Reckoning Day of Reckoning
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2013

A bomb blast targeting the director of the CIA has resulted in chaos and confusion and a missing spymaster. Harry Nichols is ordered to take on the job of protecting the man's daughter but since her main goal has becoming finding her father, that mission will prove extremely difficult since there are a lot of people wanting a deep secret kept hidden and the US President is at the top of the list.
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3 Embrace the Fire Embrace the Fire
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2016

Harry Nichols is one very upset CIA operative. Having been betrayed and seeing someone he was protecting killed along with hundreds of other Americans in Las Vegas, Nichols is determined to kill the man responsible. In this new war, there are no rules.
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4 Arkhangel Arkhangel
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2019

The year is 2007. After 4 years of fighting in Iraq, support at home is weakening and a major victory to needed. It is hoped the offensive in Anbar will be that. Harry Nichols is sent there to cement the alliance between the US and and Arab Sheikh but a former KGB agent wants to make sure it falls apart.
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5 Presence Of Mine Enemies Presence Of Mine Enemies
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2019

A major terrorist attack on Balmoral in Scotland has left Harry Nichols a fugitive from both his own CIA and the UK's MI-6. To survive long enough to figure out what is happening, Nichols must go into hiding among the very people he once hunted.
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6 Windbreak Windbreak
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2020

Shawn and Charity Braley went to the Philippines as missionaries but soon became pawns when Abu Sayyaf terrorists snatch them. CIA paramilitary op Jack Richards is sent in to get them out.
Note: Harry Nichols is mentioned several times but not involved.
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7 Wild Card Wild Card
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2022

"August 2007. Mehmet Ecevit was a CIA asset, dragooned into penetrating Islamist terror networks in Istanbul after an unsuccessful attempt to join the jihad against the Americans in Iraq. An asset who broke under the pressure—broke and ran, fleeing to Germany in an effort to shake off his handlers and escape his past. But one’s past is never far behind. 
CIA paramilitary Harry Nichols was supposed to be on his way home, a well-deserved break from the war. Instead, with intelligence pointing toward a homegrown terror cell targeting US forces in Germany, he finds himself tasked with re-acquiring the Agency’s wayward asset. Running Mehmet against his newfound friends in a high-stakes gambit to stop the plot before it can get off the ground. So long as they can trust him, they have an edge."
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8 Soon Dies the Day Soon Dies the Day
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2023

"Haunted by demons of regret, former CIA officer Harry Nichols has found himself a fugitive, fleeing east across the porous borders of the European Union, seeking to lose himself in the ever-spreading Syrian diaspora. Run. Hide. The only choices left to him—his last chance at redemption, drowned in a pool of blood in a basement somewhere in the Ardennes. And when the German security services come knocking, even those hopes vanish. But it isn’t extradition—justice—that faces Harry, but a new, desperate mission: infiltrate a cell on the growing radical fringe of European politics. Bring them down from within."
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Number of Stories:4
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2018

1 Nightshade Nightshade
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2013

The mission for Harry Nichols and his team is to eliminate one man in Ciudad del Este. Since that man is the former head of al-Qaeda in Europe, the job is anything but simple.
Originally published in the anthology Uncommon Assassins
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2 Talisman Talisman
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2014

CIA paramilitary operative Jack 'Tex' Richards, a Shadow Warrior, is determined to hunt down the man responsible for the worst terrorist attack in America since 9/11, a man known as Talisman.
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3 Lodestone Lodestone
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2014

The year is 2006 and Harry Nichols is parachuting into Hezbollah territory in Lebanon to rescue the wife of a Hezbollah leader, a man who has vowed to see her dead.
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4 Quicksand Quicksand
Written by Stephen England
Copyright: 2018

The target for the Shadow Warriors is a major player in the Islamic State in the Egyptian Sinai, Umar ibn Hassan, but back in the US he was known first as Michael Warnick, before he left Minnesota to become a terrorist.
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This is an interesting series. Good writing. Good pacing, too, which is vital for any book wanting to convey excitement. The characters were alright but there were, IMHO, a few too many so following along got tricky and I really wanted to get back to Harry Nichols.

Which is an important part. I am the one who put Nichols as the key protagonist. The author might have had an altogether different objective so maybe he is going to tweak my nose if ever we meet. But it is Nichols that I chose because I really liked him and I would not mind seeing more of him.


My Grade: B+


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