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Full Name: Barrett Mason
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Private Investigator

Creator: Stewart Matthews
Time Span: 2018 - 2019


Barrett Mason is a private investigator.

Well, a couple of times during the period we follow him he is. Other times, he is a U.S. Marine sergeant. And a CIA trainee. And then neither but still a bit of both. Then a federal prisoner, followed by being a private eye and you might be getting the idea. It sounds like the man cannot keep a job but the truth is a whole lot meaner.

At one point early on in the first recorded adventure we have of mason, he lets us know that "I wasn't an official member of anything. At least, nothing the US government would acknowledge. I wasn't CIA, or NSA, or any other three letter organization which was a recognized part of the US intelligence community. You could say I'm a Marine. Not in active service. Those days are far behind me. But the skills I learned as a part of Force Recon have come in particularly handy, given my current career." He also mentions about his "long un-history of service with the US government".

Mason had been for a few years a member of the Marine Force Recon. Exactly how long I do not know but it was long enough to have made it into that elite division and enough to get the rank of Sergeant but not enough to achieve Gunnery Sergeant yet. He was assigned to the protection detail of the US ambassador to Yemen when a terrorist attack killed that diplomat and almost ended Mason's life. That will be followed by a brief liaison with the CIA going after those same terrorists. After that his life will have more ups and downs than a roller coaster.

Before you get the idea that Mason is at all a foul-up, rid yourself of that idea. This is a good man who does good things for good reasons which sometimes runs afoul of not-so-good people doing very bad things. Usually this is a positive. When those bad people are in powerful positions, though, it often does not work out so well.

Mason grew up in Texas and spent his teenage years in Houston with just his brother having become an orphan while in middle school. "My brother and I were left to fend for ourselves in the roughest neighborhood ... I was used to good things crumbling to s**t."

One of those things that crumbled away was his marriage to Libby but as the adventures go by he will be reunited with her and they will be joined by Kejal, a young girl he rescues. Many of the unpleasant things that we will watch happen to him will come because he refuses to let bad things happen to them.

Interesting Line:

"I've learned not to try and read the CIA's mind, or I might end up with my brain fried like half of them. They're all so weird and secretive - it's like a cult operating right under our noses."


Number of Books:6
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2019

1 Matador Matador
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2018

The mission was simple to understand and difficult to pull off. Barrett Mason was to help an Iranian biochemist defect to the U.S. and there reveal all that country was up to in illegal weaponizing. The Irani secret service was against the idea.
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2 Tyrant Tyrant
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2018

Having left the world of spying behind, Barrett Mason is living with his ex-wife and his adopted daughter and earning a living as a private eye. Then an elderly lady drops into his lap a stash of research from the Cold War era. Then she is murdered and lots of people want that data and want Barrett Mason dead.
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3 Jackal Jackal
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2019

For having saved the country from a terrible threat but having made a powerful enemy along the way, Barrett Mason is in Leavenworth and likely to stay there for ten years. Then CIA handler Vance Greer show up with an offer for freedom. The price is a mission to Venezuela to help overthrow a government.
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4 Ghosts Ghosts
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2019

When he is being sought by the US, Barrett Mason is hiding out in the French Riviera as muscle for a small-time bookie. Then that man tries to step up in weight and Mason finds himself up against a Russian assassin and the knowledge that if he does nothing to stop the conspiracy he has learned of, millions will die.
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5 Wardogs Wardogs
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2019

Wanting very much to start again, this time in Belgium, Barrett Mason agrees to help a powerful Senator recover his daughter who had vanished while on vacation in Mexico. Unfortunately, the moment he started looking into things, Mason becomes the enemy of a very nasty drug cartel.
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6 Red Star Red Star
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2019

Happy that his life is back on a decent track, Barrett Mason has set up a new office as a private eye with his wife and happy with how his adopted daughter is doing. Then old friend Colonel Huff shows up with a job. A terrorist group has kidnapped a US nuclear weapons expert. Mason knows that not helping get the expert free means potentially giving very bad people a very bad weapon.
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Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2019
Last Appearance:2019

1 The Lost Son The Lost Son
Written by Stewart Matthews
Copyright: 2019

A prequel which tells how Barrett Mason is assigned a rookie position on a CIA mission. The job is to hunt down a fellow Texan who has become an Islamic extremist and is in London working on a terrible scheme. Making life tougher is the fact that the CIA veteran training him is a by-the-books hardnose.


I love finding a series like this one where there are several adventures to enjoy with real growth in the characters. I also love the fact that there is a really good chance the author will give us more in the future. I have a ton of other series to read but knowing there may be more with Barrett and Libby and Kejal leaves me with a good feeling. I like these characters and I like the fact that the author throws them into trouble and makes them fight like the dickens to get out. I also like the fact that so far, they do get out.


My Grade: A-


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