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Full Name: Simon Ashcroft
Series Name: The Benevolent Series
Nationality: Australian
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Aiden L. Bailey
Time Span: 2016 - 2019


Simon Ashcroft is a freelance agent.

When we first run into him, he is with DevWorld Security, a for-profit organization that existed primarily for the mission of protecting their clients whenever and wherever they travelled in the West African country. The primary region of operation is the very large expanse of Nigeria, especially its more violent and unpredictable River section. It is run by former police sergeant Ndulu Adebayo.

The company survives but resources (mainly money) is tight, as shown by the unrepaired air conditioning in their Land Rovers which in that neck of the woods is a decidedly unpleasant situation. Ashcroft has learned the hard way, though, that sweltering heat is one of the lesser challenges to his line of work regardless of where he operatres and he has over the years worked in a lot of different place, all of them having their own set of problems and all of them filled with people who want to end his permanently.

"There was already a long list of the individuals who were no longer counted amongst the living because of his actions. He had murdered too many foes in his past, and regretted each one. Despite having only ever killed in self-defense, or for the greater good as defined by his employers, he hated what his actions said about the kind of man he was. He liked to think of himself as honorable and compassionate, but how could he see himself that way when he committed such acts? Feeling conflicted, he knew he wasn't the same man he had been when entering the intelligence services all those years ago."

In another instance, Ashcroft muses, "His profession seemed to have turned him into a brutal operator - a trained killer of 'bad' men, but that wasn't who he was inside, it wasn't his personality. The problem, as far as he could understand it, was that he was starting to care. He didn't want to be a murderer, and yet life kept throwing him circumstances where he had to make a choice . . . himself, or the other guy? It would always be the other guy, as long as he could help it, because he had a desperate desire to keep on living, despite the battering his conscience kept enduring."

Simon Ashcroft had once been an intelligence officer with the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, more commonly known by its acronym ASIS. Before that he had been a lieutenant with the Australian Army. Over the course of fifteen years, across both services, he'd operated throughout Asia and Africa on numerous covert operations, until a harrowing disaster in Afghanistan left him with no choice but to leave the service, and enter the private sector.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2019

1 Threat Intelligence Threat Intelligence
aka The Benevolent Deception
Written by Aiden L. Bailey
Copyright: 2016

Part One of the Shatterhand Code
The devastating digital weapon known as Shatterhand is able to take over the media, control the military of the world, and even impersonate world leaders. It could be that the only person able to stop those wielding it is Simon Ashcroft.
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2 Strike Matrix Strike Matrix
Written by Aiden L. Bailey
Copyright: 2019

Part Two of the Shatterhand Code
Simon Ashcroft's fight against the cyberterrorists who use the Shatterhand technology to take control of the government has gotten much more dangerous. Now that they know he is after them, they go after him and they can easily use fake news to paint him as the villain of the piece.
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3 Foreign Hostage Foreign Hostage
Written by Aiden L. Bailey
Copyright: 2018

Collection of two novellas that were also sold separately. They are:
The Assyrian Contraband
Blood Ivory
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Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2018

1 The Assyrian Contraband The Assyrian Contraband
Written by Aiden L. Bailey
Copyright: 2017

Simon Ashcroft was hoping to have left the violence behind him but when a young woman is kidnapped and her sister appeals to him for help, he cannot say no. The fight will take both of them to a tropical island and an enemy who is a rich financier of global terrorism.
Sold separately and in the collection Foreign Hostage.
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2 Blood Ivory Blood Ivory
Written by Aiden L. Bailey
Copyright: 2018

The primary mission that Simon Ashcroft had was to find the link between ivory smugglers and Islamic extremists but when he sees so many elephants in a herd be destroyed, he cannot just monitor - he has to act.
Sold separately and in the collection Foreign Hostage.
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Great action. Really enjoyable plots. Interesting character. Time well spent inside the pages. Those are what I hope for with any new series I pick up and that is what I found with this two-book, two-novella series.

I often wish for more adventures when I get into a series this enjoyable but since this one ended so well, I truly have mixed feelings. More adventures would mean pulling the hero from a situation I was hoping he would find so...

That's the kind of satisfaction I love getting from this series.


My Grade: A-


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