Full Name: Matt Danner
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Other - Photographer

Creator: Brian Bayport
Time Span: 2014 - 2014


       Matt Danner is a photographer for the CIA.
       He makes sure you know something straight-out in the opening pages of the first recorded adventure. "I'm not a secret agent. I take pictures for a government agency in Langley, Virginia." He says so in making comments about the teasing he gets driving his six-year old Civic which his friends say is hardly the kind of car a secret agent would drive, hence the disclaimer. While the correction will stand, the car doesn't last through the first page.
       That is also when we get a good idea of how resourceful Danner can be because though he has gone through the requisite training of anyone who supposedly works at the Agency, he has not been trained in the ways to stay alive when someone is determined that you do not and he must use his own ingenuity to keep breathing.
       The lack of formal training will change somewhat as he gets pulled into a major mission but even as he learns more and more of what a 'real' agent would need to know, he is aware that he will always have to rely on himself when things go south. He is also smart enough to know that they always go south.
       Danner has some interesting people around him. His boss, or at least the higher-up who grabs him for the assignments, Brewster Hart, is an officious SOB and someone whose compassion has been forcefully extracted. The ops planner who comes up with the ideas for how to pull off an assignment is named Sutton but nicknamed 'Looks Good On Paper' which says enough about him. Danner's field commanders are, luckily, far more in tune with how things really work out there. And helping on a couple of occasions is his best friend and fellow CIA tech geek, Thomas Yamaguchi, who knows audio work as well as Danner knows video.
       One key comment that caught my attention and sets the feel for the series is Danner's observation: "As my friend Tom says, 'In this business, you'd be crazy not to be paranoid."


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2014
Last Appearance:2014


       It is almost a certainty that when I list 'CIA' as the organization the character works for, the occupation is 'Agent'. Not in this case even though it really should be. Danner would not approve if I did so I did not.
       These are three very fast, very easy to read adventures filled with enough excitement to satisfy most everyone and enough interesting characters to make it fun to follow those people around. Danner is resourceful, determined, intelligent, and funny. He likes to have a good time and he likes to spend quality time with the opposite sex but he knows when it is important to stick to business and he seldom blurs the two.
       The descriptions of the locales are terrific and the feel for the activities going on really draw the reader in. It has been half a decade since these were released so there is likely not going to be any more but if there were, I would buy them.


My Grade: B+


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