north_michael_bk_ctd north_michael_bk_ks north_michael_nv_asib
Full Name: Michael North
Nationality: British
Organization: The Board
Occupation Agent

Creator: Judith O'Reilly
Time Span: 2017 - 2020


Michael North is an agent with The Board.

A good attention-grabbing blurb is worth a lot to the success of an adventure and the one for the first book was darned good: "The bullet in his brain isn't the problem. She is. Michael North is a hero, with a bullet in the brain to prove it. A bullet which has rewired his neural pathways and heightened his sense of intuition. A bullet which is driving him mad..." It goes on to add "working for an extra-governmental agency called The Board, North knows one thing for sure. He is very good at killing very bad guys. But what happens when a hero is ordered to kill a good woman rather than a bad man?

The bullet in the head is a key point in North's life. It was a 'gift' he received "on patrol outside Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan five years ago", fired by a sniper and landing "just short of the posterior parietal artery in the right temporo-parietal junction". The surgeons were able to remove the tiny pieces of bone the penetration caused but could not "extract the bullet without further catastrophic damage".

Interestingly, its presence brought EITHER frequent "hallucinations and delusions common after traumatic brain injury" and the belief, not shared with anyone, that "the bullet was driving him mad" OR acute awareness of his surroundings with an almost paranormal sense of the future. If it was the former, that was a bad thing. If it were the latter, so much the better!

After his career in the military was ended by the injury, North spent a couple of years first recovering (as much as he could) from it and then listlessly just existing. That is when the Board came calling and offered him a job, one that would make use of his skills at killing learned in the services and give him a feeling that he was contributing to the common good by eliminating very nasty people from the planet. It also made him a very acceptable chunk of change.

There was one odd side effect from his new vocation: "The problem with his job was he couldn't read about anyone dying without wondering who killed them, and whether he'd have done it better."

North was relatively satisfied with his new life, excluding the chunk of lead in his head, and would have happily continued getting the periodic packets in the mail detailing who and why and sometimes how his next assignment was. Then he was told to remove in a particularly unpleasant way a female Member of Parliament and there was no explanation as to why she was targeted. That bothered him. A lot. He decided to say no. Nobody says no to the Board. Ever.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2020

1 Killing State Killing State
Written by Judith O'Reilly
Copyright: 2018

The MP, Honor Jones, is a rising star in British politics, certain to go to the top. Unless, however, she keeps asking questions about those already running things. That sort of thing gets her put on a list of people to be eliminated by Michael North. Had she been a bad person, he would have removed her without a qualm. Since she is a good person, he has trouble with his assignment.
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2 Curse The Day Curse The Day
Written by Judith O'Reilly
Copyright: 2020

At the Institute for Deep Learning, its genius tech boss, Tobias Hawke, is on the threshold of a major achievement in Artificial Intelligence. Then he is murdered and his software creation, Syd, has shut itself down. Michael North is asked to help find out what happened to Hawke and how to revive Syd. To do that he needs the help of a teenage hacker named Fangfang and Hawke's widow, each of whom have their own motives in solving the problem.
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Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2017

1 And So It Begins And So It Begins
Written by Judith O'Reilly
Copyright: 2017

Recounts an important event in a young Michael North is in the care of foster 'parents', the McGyvers, a particularly nasty pair. It details how North learns how important it is to get his foster brother, Brendan, away from there before the pedophile Mr. McGyver.


These are some excellently written adventures with a lead character who is a great deal of fun to follow - figuratively, doing so literally would upset him and that would be bad for you.

The way the author has North handling the small matter of the bullet in his head that can kill him at any moment is so very good. He is both fatalistic about it and almost blasé; it will happen or it won't.

And he takes that same attitude towards surviving his missions. Mind you while he might be ready to die, he is not seeking it and even more important to him, he does not want to not get a job done.


My Grade: A-


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