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Full Name: John Henry & Melody Fuller
Series Name: The Reluctant Spy
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: D. Reed Whittaker
Time Span: 2018 - 2021


John Henry is an agent with the CIA.

Melody Fuller is an employee of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

The "Reluctant Spy" appellation goes to (I believe) John Henry because he is pulled into the adventures we have of he and Melody quite reluctantly, which might sound strange for an operative but his is an unusual situation.

First of all, his real name is Steve Andrews and while he can legitimately be called an agent he refers to himself more accurately as an analyst. His area of expertise, and he is really very good at it, is oil and gas. He would "analyze shipping manifests, oil field reports, drilling logs, anything we could get our hands on. Then we'd make an informed guess what a particular country, OPEC, or whomever might do". He liked his work and would probably still be doing it except for Abu Ghraib. He had heard from a former inmate there about the treatment and had gone to find out himself. What he learned disgusted him and he "called a friend at the AP and told him what [he'd] seen and heard. [The reporter] took it from there".

The backlash from that would see Henry/Andrews testifying before a Senate subcommittee and virtual banishment by the Agency. He changed his name to avoid notoriety and went on an unending sabbatical. The Agency did not formally fire him; "many wanted to but it would've looked bad. They put me out to pasture. We have an agreement - I stay out of their way and they stay out of mine". Since he is still on the payroll he does not have to work but does so out of boredom. He gets contract jobs from the Seven Sisters of the petroleum industry; "now I get paid better and stay in nice hotels".

Fuller is a Russian language/literature graduate who was hired by the State Department to work in their Russia department. She is described as "a moderately attractive co-ed. Shorter than average-about 5'3" [with] Mediterranean skin and dark brown hair worn long with a small braid off to the right side."

Fuller's entry into the more cloak-and-daggerish world comes from the disappearance of her father, George Fuller, a respected and valued scientist working on a project the government is very interested in. He was friends with John Henry and when Fuller was unable to contact her father, she remembered his mentioning that Henry had some government connection so she appealed to him for help.

The two of them will form a very interesting and enjoyable partnership. She, being considerably younger than he, has a lot of fun with light flirting and teasing. He takes a much more sedate and somber attitude and calls her 'brat' on more than one occasion. When their first adventure comes to an end, they will go their separate ways though will stay in touch and will be brought back together by life more than once.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2021

1 Roccinate Roccinate
Written by D. Reed Whittaker
Copyright: 2018

John Henry is a discredited CIA Agent. Melody Fuller is a doctoral candidate recently starting with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. When Fuller's father, George, a friend of Henry, goes missing, she is understandably worried and turns to Henry for help. Since George was a scientist who might have been working on something potential dangerous, there could be bad things in the mix.
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2 Russian Reins Russian Reins
Written by D. Reed Whittaker
Copyright: 2018

Melody Fuller calls upon John Henry again, this time to ask his help with a new governmental intelligence agency. Reluctantly, Henry agrees and soon both he and Fuller are going up against a Russian hitman in a case that takes them to New York and on to Helsinki. Will what they discover bring down a President?
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3 The Abyss The Abyss
Written by D. Reed Whittaker
Copyright: 2018

When John Henry looks into a pipeline explosion, he enters a case where he and Melody Fuller will end up in the brainy and confusing work of cyber-espionage and in need of Sally, the DHS agent who is stalking them.
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4 Hacked Hacked
Written by D. Reed Whittaker
Copyright: 2021

"This story [is] about ransomware - companies, cities, countries blackmailed by computer hackers. So far, the impact has been relatively benign—only money. However, the potential exists for catastrophic damage—poisoned water, compromised transportation systems, crippled hospital systems, and military missteps."
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I really enjoyed the relationship that the two main characters have. She teasing him a lot, knowing it is never going anywhere so is just safe fun and he, not taking offense at it at all responding with chiding, again unthreateningly.

Which is good banter to have when it seems everywhere they turn, someone is really unhappy with what they are looking into and would not be adverse to causing permanent harm to either one.

The author indicates that he sees an interesting situation, usually a potentially dire one, and works out a way to bring Henry and Fuller into it. He does so in a very entertaining way.


My Grade: B


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