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Full Name: David Rivers
Series Name: The American Mercenary
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Jason Kasper
Time Span: 2016 - 2024


David Rivers is a mercenary.

He is not a spy. He does not work as one and would probably frown at you if you suggested it. He is a soldier first and only. He does not want to be anything else and really would have trouble doing anything else since he has been soldiering for nearly a decade, all of his adult life. As a soldier he would normally not belong in this compendium. As an operative for groups who work very diligently to keep their anonymity, going up against other groups who want to be just as unknown.

Rivers is a man obsessed with death, it seems, based on the writings he has stored in his laptop. Not the death of others, though, but of his own. His strange interest in suicide is fascinating as well as disturbing. And while he has not yet actually tried to end his life in a traditional way, though he has held his pistol ready on at least one occasion, he seems determined to do it with his hobby. He is into BASE jumping. Whether it is out of low-flying planes, off roofs of very tall buildings, or off cell towers, his love of putting his life at risk is as strong as his need to write about ending it all.

When we first meet Rivers he is a member of the prestigious Army Rangers. He joined as soon as he was able to after 9/11 at 19 years of age. After the requisite training he was was sent to serve in Afghanistan and saw a good amount of action in the combat there. As he fought in a good number of skirmishes, he was trying to improve his life by applying for admission to West Point. He was as surprised as any when he was accepted. A year of prep school followed by four years of college there and Rivers was ready for his next set of challenges.

Unfortunately, a routine pre-graduation physical divulged 'supraventricular tachycardia' and he was suddenly medically non-commissionable, as they put it. He was out.

What would follow is a very strange life for a product of the foster system with no family back home and nothing to come home to and an overriding devotion to putting his life in peril.

     Postscript: Life will change for Rivers after a half-dozen adventures. His being alone in the world will not be the case anymore. Nor will his not being a spy, at least not in traditional sense, as Rivers will become part of a new CIA team targeting specific enemies of the country.


Number of Books:13
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2024

1 Greatest Enemy Greatest Enemy
aka Jais
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2016

Book 1 in the American Mercenary series.
Finding himself suddenly discharged from the military, Army Ranger David Rivers has no idea what he will do next which makes him open to recruitment by a trio of men who suddenly show up with a job offer. They know that he once killed a man in cold blood. They want him to do it again.
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2 Offer of Revenge Offer of Revenge
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2017

Book 2 in the American Mercenary series.
Living is self-imposed exile and trying to recover from the betrayal that claimed the lives of his team and friends, David Rivers is approached with a chance for revenge but to get it, he has to join the very group that killed his friends.
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3 Dark Redemption Dark Redemption
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2018

Book 3 in the American Mercenary series.
David Rivers has finally take out the man who betrayed his team and caused their deaths. Now he wants to move up the food chain and go after the one called The Handler, the man who gave the order. In an odd twist, though, he must first do a job for the Handler.

4 Vengeance Calling Vengeance Calling
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2018

Book 4 in the American Mercenary series.
To take out a criminal mastermind, his next mission, David Rivers will require teaming up with a person with the same objective - taking out Rivers' greatest enemy. Unfortunately, even with the help, the mission is doomed to failure.
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5 The Suicide Cartel The Suicide Cartel
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2019

Book 5 in the American Mercenary series.
Eager to get back into action, David Rivers accepts a job taking the fight to the narcos and terrorists in the jungle of South America. Unfortunately, he and his team are on what is a suicide mission as their chances of getting out alive are nil.
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6 Terminal Objective Terminal Objective
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2020

Book 6 in the American Mercenary series.
Taking on the head of the criminal organization he has been fighting means joining an agent from a clandestine intelligence group in an attack on the headquarters in a Russia which is definitely not friendly.
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7 The Enemies Of My Country The Enemies Of My Country
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2021

Book 1 in the Shadow Strike series.
While half way around the world from the home he had made in Virginia with his wife and daughter, sent on a mission to take out a foreign agent, David Rivers learns of a terrorist attack set for the US in four days. It will take place in his hometown. And his family is mentioned by name!
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8 Last Target Standing Last Target Standing
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2021

Book 2 in the Shadow Strike series.
Stopping a major terrorist attack in America was not the end to the assignment; David Rivers and team must now hunt down the man behind it, Ghulam Samedi. His last known location is in China's Xinjiang province mountain region. For the Rivers team, getting him will mean entering a hostile country with no backup and no good way of getting out again.
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9 Covert Kill Covert Kill
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2021

Book 3 in the Shadow Strike series.
"When American citizens in Nigeria are kidnapped and held for ransom, David Rivers and his team of CIA contractors find themselves enveloped in an international firestorm.
With a US administration determined to protect American lives, David has the authority to do whatever it takes.
But as David's team tracks down the mysterious terror cell responsible for the kidnapping, they uncover a conspiracy beyond anything they could have imagined."
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10 Narco Assassins Narco Assassins
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2022

Book 4 in the Shadow Strike series.
"David Rivers chases an elusive narco-assassin through the jungles of Colombia in this explosive assassination thriller…
Former FARC revolutionary Sofia Lozano has become the world’s most cunning assassin, and now she’s selling her services to the highest bidder. But when the CIA learns that Sofia’s newest client is an international terrorist syndicate with plans to kill countless civilians, her name is placed on David Rivers’ kill list."
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11 Beast Three Six Beast Three Six
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2023

Book 5 in the Shadow Strike series.
"When a senator's daughter is kidnapped in Benghazi, a Filipino terrorist named Khalil Noureddin claims responsibility and demands to negotiate with only one man: the leader of a CIA team that tried and failed to kill him over a year ago." That man is David Rivers.
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12 The Belgrade Conspiracy The Belgrade Conspiracy
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2023

Book 6 in the Shadow Strike series.
"One man stands behind the transfer of high-level military hardware to an international terrorist syndicate. The CIA has uncovered his identity: Yuri Sidorov, a Russian arms dealer with state protection. With the arms deal only days away, David and the team are faced with an impossible challenge: to get close enough to take out their target, they must first win his trust.
David and the team infiltrate a black market arms network in Serbia, negotiating a web of secret police and mafia hitmen. Each wrong turn may prove fatal, but they’re determined to succeed at any cost. But Sidorov is still alive for a reason, and when the team uncovers dark forces at work in the Balkans and America, they realize that killing him is the least of their worries."
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13 Lethal Horizon Lethal Horizon
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2024

Book 7 in the Shadow Strike series.
"For David Rivers and his team, the mission was supposed to be simple—retrieve a defecting militia leader and deliver him to CIA interrogators. But nothing is simple in Yemen, where vast swaths of terrain are controlled by Houthi and Al Qaeda fighters. When they locate the asset, the team discovers why he has been deemed critical to their intelligence effort. The defector has direct knowledge of the team’s top target: Erik Weisz, the shadowy figurehead behind the most catastrophic terrorist attacks since 9/11. And as it turns out, Weisz is currently in Yemen, traveling through Houthi territory with heavy security."
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Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2020

1 The Ranger Objective The Ranger Objective
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2018

A prequel story which details the life of the young recruit who, one year after 9/11 is an Army Ranger in the Shigal Valley of Afghanistan. There he will have to learn how to decide between the orders he was given and what his gut tells him, a very hard lesson for anyone to learn.
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2 The Night Stalker Rescue The Night Stalker Rescue
Written by Jason Kasper
Copyright: 2020

David Rivers and his team had been sent to the Philippine island of Jolo to eliminate a terrorist leader. Then the man shot down an American helicopter and suddenly the mission changed to finding the pilot before the enemy does.
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I went back and forth on this series and whether it belonged in the compendium. It is a really well-written series with a character who, once I got past his unnerving obsession with suicide (okay, I never really got past that), has some very exciting and interesting adventures. But his activities are only tangentially connected to spy-craft so I said yes and then no a couple of times. Then decided to put it in and let others make their own minds up about it.

I complimented the writing and I really mean. The author makes leaping off buildings sound like fun and no, I would never ever actually think a moment about doing. He also makes being in the thick of lots of people trying their best to kill him sound exciting and I would not want that either. He even makes his characters sound like people I would love to keep reading about - I would say meet but I think I would be really antsy around them.

So I do not know if this series really belongs in this group but I do know it is a very well crafted and penned group of adventures.

     Postscript: With the addition of the last couple (as of this writing) adventures, Rivers' escapades are now in conjunction with a secret CIA program so all my quandaries about this series belong in the compendium have been alleviated.


My Grade: B+


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