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Full Name: Dennis Cunningham
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Keith Yocum
Time Span: 2016 - 2022


Dennis Cunningham is an agent with the CIA.

He is not an operative in the normal sense, at least not in the manner most in this compendium who work for the Agency would be thought of but he is an agent nevertheless.

He works for the OIG, Office of the Inspector General, so when he does any 'spying', it is on his own people in an effort to make sure that no rules are broken and no secrets revealed. His is, therefore, a very unpopular vocation.

As he puts it, "my job is difficut. Poeple inside the Agency hate you when you come calling, and people outside the Agency hate you because they think you're covering stuff up".

There is likely another reason or two that people would find Cunningham's presence distressing - he is a very outspoken young man with a sense of humor that many would not appreciate and an honesty that a lot would not. When a new supervisor and he were talking about the large number of people at the CIA going to work each day to make the country safe, he indicated it was safe from 'ourselves'. He said it as a quip, of course, but as I indicated, many of his fellow workers might not find it as amusing as he did.

Add one other factor to the equation about Cunningham is that he does have a bit of a temper and does, it seems to me, get annoyed rather easily. "When he was angry, his worst affronts came at the end of several sentences; the longer he talked, the more likely he was to offend. It was a problem of mathematics, he believed. When he was angry, uttering one less sentence was much better; it was always the last sentence that caused him grief."

If the information above gave the impression that Cunningham was an unpleasant sort, please remove them. He is not unpleasant. He is just, well, direct. That and impatient.

Well, okay, maybe he is a tad unpleasant: "Dennis thrived on digging out deception, graft and illegal behavior by agency employees, but only if it involved working with human beings and not spreadsheets. He could accost people, verbally harangue them and even threaten them to get information he needed. It was a visceral exercise that fit perfectly with his naturalistic view of the world."

But on the plus side of Cunningham, he is one of the best people the Agency has for finding people. In a government department having 20,000+ employees, a lot of them being especially well trained at clandestine activities and staying in the shadows, when one suddenly disappears, the ability to know what happened is greatly hampered by the very skills they were asked to use. It then takes someone very good to locate them.

Cunningham is very good.


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

1 Color of Blood Color of Blood
Written by Keith Yocum
Copyright: 2016

Happy to be back at work after his wife's death, Dennis Cunningham wants to be lost in things to do. He was not expecting a trip, though, and this one was a long one - to Australia to looking a missing CIA employee.
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2 A Dark Place A Dark Place
Written by Keith Yocum
Copyright: 2018

Dennis Cunningham is pleased at the chance to meet up again with AFP agent Judy White from Australia as they both are sent to London on business. What neither expected was old enemies coming to haunt them.
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3 Valley of Spies Valley of Spies
Written by Keith Yocum
Copyright: 2019

Just recently entering into retirement in Western Australia, Dennis Cunningham is yanked back into work for another assignment. In nearby New Zealand, an American tourist has disappeared. What made it of interest to the CIA was that she was a psychologist who was under contract to treat its operatives.
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4 River of Lies River of Lies
Written by Keith Yocum
Copyright: 2022

When a foreign spy disappears, Dennis Cunningham is asked to return from his early retirement to look into matters. At the same time, his girlfriend Judy, a police inspector, has her own issues causing strife. Interestingly, their individual cases will intermingle.
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A Kirkus Reviews reviewer of the first book in the series said that it was "a scary, smart, sweet, sexy CIA tale". That is a terse and delightfully accurate description of the first adventure (and, IMHO, the next two as well). It also had good things to say about the next two tales which should show how good these books are.

I am not sure if I would like Cunningham if I had to deal with him in person. I am certain he would get under my skin in no time at all, leaving me with an urge to run him over in the parking lot. 

I am sure that I liked reading about him a bunch.

I am also certain I wish the author had written more about him.


My Grade: A-


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