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J. R. FINN

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Full Name: J. R. Finn
Series Name: J. R. Finn Sailing Mysteries
Nationality: American
Organization: Department of Defense
Occupation Agent

Creator: CLR Dougherty
Time Span: 2018 - 2019

ABOUT THE SERIES

       J.R. Finn is an agent with the Department of Defense.
       That's about as close to the identification of his organization as he can get because no one ever gave him more information or likely ever would. It is a case of 'if you have to ask, you don't need to know' and 'if you ask, you won't like the answer' and, finally, 'if I tell you, well, you know how the line goes'. So he works for them.
       At least he did. Now he is retired so he doesn't officially work for them any longer except, of course, he never officially ever did and now that he is retired he doesn't anymore. Except when they offer another contract job, which he can always refuse for any reason but never does because this is the kind of work he does and he has never refused anything yet so why start now.
       Finn is likely in his early forties and a happily single boat bum. We know his age because he has a daughter who has never met him who is in college in Florida and he helped make her when he was in the military so simple math gives us the probable answer. That and he, when meeting Mary Elizabeth (more on her in a moment), he is attracted to her (who wouldn't be except for maybe the snake tattoo) and then chastises himself for his interest with the self-admonition that he had a daughter just a couple years younger than her.
       As just said, he was in the military and since he was very, very good at his job, which was taking out targets who needed removal, that meant he was over in the Middle East which did not do his marriage any good and when that relationship hit a very unpleasant end, there was really nothing to come back for so he stuck around doing what he did so well. Then then offered him a different job more or less doing the same job but in different locations and against different targets.
       To Finn, whether he wore a uniform or not means nothing. He is still a soldier doing his job. Now, though, when he is not on assignment, he gets to spend his free time on the water and the only sand he has to deal with is on beaches. He owns the Island Girl sailboat and home and he goes wherever in the Caribbean he feels like it between jobs. He makes very good money working for them and has little to spend it on except for his boat (and paying for the college of the daughter who has never met him). The few times Finn might think about his life, he would undoubtedly say he liked it and has liked it for the twenty years he's done it and would likely keep doing it for many years. No reason to change, really.
       And then he meets Mary Elizabeth. Now what her real name is sort of changes here and there, sometimes by her and sometimes not. She is a beautiful young woman who really would like a ride, well, anywhere from where she is (which is a small port in Puerto Rico) and he is heading somewhere already so Finn says sure. No hassles. No problems. Just grab some extra groceries and hit the seas. That's when a couple of guys getting out of a car decide she needs to come with them instead and she says no and proves it and from that moment on, life gets really interesting.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2019

1 Assassins and Liars Assassins and Liars
Written by CLR Dougherty
Copyright: 2018

As a government assassin for so many years, J. R. Finn knows well how to spot trouble coming from a long ways off. When the great legs suddenly appeared on the pier next to his boat, he sort of knew he was in for some but they were good legs even with the serpent tattoo. The bodies would start falling around her later.
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2 Avengers and Rogues Avengers and Rogues
Written by CLR Dougherty
Copyright: 2019

Finding and eliminating his target in the Caribbean island was the easy part of this mission. Dealing with those after his new girlfriend was proving to be murder, literally, for J. R. Finn. Luckily he is up to the job and his girlfriend might be even more bad-ass than he.
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3 Vigilantes and Lovers Vigilantes and Lovers
Written by CLR Dougherty
Copyright: 2019

When Finn's girlfriend and freelance assassin, Mary Beth, uncovers the names and plans of conspirators out to throw a monkey-wrench into the political system, Finn lands in major hot water with a kill order put out on him. Finn is kind of hard to kill.
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4 Sailors and Sirens Sailors and Sirens
Written by CLR Dougherty
Copyright: 2019

Finn and Mary had contracted to eliminate several people for their new employer but now Mary has vanished, apparently gone off on her own mission and Finn is very concerned, not to mention being in a position where he could use her help.
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MY COMMENTS

       Boy oh boy, did I like this series!
       It started great for me. Many years ago, I had an uncle who found the best way to start a conversation with someone he did not know was to use the opening line, "I don't like your shoes." Depending on the other party to the conversation was how my uncle would proceed. When he used it on my bride upon their first meeting, she looked confused and responded, "I'm not wearing any." We were at a swimming pool at the time.
       I mention this odd scenario because the first lines of the Finn series dealt with Finn's first glimpse of the lovely Mary Elizabeth being her feet. They were very nice feet but just above them on one leg was a very long snake tattoo. Reading these lines made me think of my uncle and my wife and brought a smile to my face, one that stayed for many, many pages.
       It is important, I believe, to let you know that the smile remained not because this series is a comedy for it is not but because the enjoyment I got from the get-go did not let up for very long. Everything was that interesting and moved along that well and the characters just kept getting more interesting. One exceptionally well done aspect was the fact that Finn did not know a whole lot about Mary Elizabeth at first [they were strangers, of course] but he (and I) was learning, little by little, and that was a lot of fun.
       Finn is basically a loner and as such he does a lot of thinking and he is kind enough to share that thinking with the reader. A couple of times I felt the thinking might have gone on a tad too long perhaps BUT, and this is a vital point, each time I was almost ready to skip over some of his musing, he brought up a key morsel that I had never considered and that was very important. After the second such occurrence, I learned to just let Finn do his musing and stick with him because he is a smart cookie.
       For most of Finn's adult life he has been a loner and he is finally at a point that he is ready to not be quite so alone which is why he is so taken with Mary Elizabeth. That and the legs, of course. And the fact that he has seen first hand that when someone points a gun or a knife at her, she is quick to take it away from them and usually give it back in a not very friendly way. Not a squeamish sort, our Mary. It is fun then to watch the two get to know each other.
       The books are fast reads because I dare say the author has followed the great Elmore Leonard's rule about leaving out the boring parts. With the possible exception of the musings I just talked about, there are not boring parts in these pages. I devoured the first book in a day and moved to the second, taking the second day to read it. Then there were no more. The author has promised more so I am hopeful. He has a couple of other series that look very interesting as well so I might give them a shot while I wait. But I know when the third book comes out, I will snatch it up.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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