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Full Name: Cat Ballentine
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: S. M. Barton
Time Span: 2018 - 2020


Catherine 'Cat' Ballentine is an agent with the CIA.

When we first meet her she is "in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean" (a bit of an exaggeration) having been incapacitated while on a 58' sport fishing boat with the captain knocked out and tied up and the assailant opening the seacocks to scuttle the vessel. Not exactly a happy situation but one which does a good job of describing the kind of situations this very experienced, very capable operative will get involved in.

We learn straight off that Ballentine is a very determined woman not subject to panicking - if you do not panic when you regain consciousness on a sinking boat far out in the ocean, it is safe to say you are foolhardy, which she is not, or made of stern material, which she is.

This operative has been in the service of the Agency for quite some time and has a decent track record to show for it. She is respected in her field and might actually be liked by her immediate supervisor, a hard female taskmaster with the alliterative name of Peanie Purvis.

Ballentine is reluctant to talk about the things that happened to her in her years working in the Middle East just a bit before we meet her. She has been to see the Agency shrink about it but had not truly unburdened herself of the trauma she endured. As a result she still has a case of PTSD. In the short amount she revealed of the horrible situation she witnessed, she is more than entitled to have it.

She is described as being a very good looking woman but she is honest to admit that without make-up, her skin could be "as pale  as vellum" with a "perpetually haunted look".

Throughout the two adventures she has an interesting love-hate relationship going with a fellow named Renny. She also has to deal with some very nasty people out for revenge for things that happened during her captivity in Afghanistan.

She also has to deal with her son, Armaghan aka Matthew, a product of that imprisonment, as well as that little boy's half-sister, Mariah, two children she loves very much.


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

1 The Devil In Jalalabad The Devil In Jalalabad
Written by S. M. Barton
Copyright: 2018

Cat Ballentine had been a prisoner of the Islamic terrorist Walid for months until a team of SEALS rescued her. Trouble follows her though and several of the Agency men debriefing her are killed as are several members of the SEAL team. She joins with team member Lorenzo Rossi to find out if there is a traitor in the Agency.
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2 The Devil In Belize The Devil In Belize
Written by S. M. Barton
Copyright: 2020

When Cat Ballentine and her fellow agent, former SEAL Rossi, are sent to the tropical island in Belize, it did not seem like a mission as much as a vacation. When Cat meets the young Maya mother and her daughters on a hike she finds they are fleeing drug and human traffickers and the vacation is no more.
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I liked Ballentine. I did not always understand what was happening around her and had to go back over passages now and then to get a better idea of what was transpiring but I never stopped liking Ballentine.

My attitude towards Renny, though, is not so straight-forward nor so positive. Even at the end of the second book, I was undecided.

The writing is swift and action-filled. The dialog is pithy and interesting. Best, though, are the asides that Ballentine gives up as she muses the things happening to her, good and bad.


My Grade: B


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