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Full Name: Max Doyle
Nationality: American
Organization: Phoenix Group
Occupation Agent

Creator: John Carson
Time Span: 2018 - 2018


Max Doyle is an agent with the Phoenix Group.

That organization is an autonomous one though Doyle is told it operates "under the umbrella of Homeland Security". This very secret department which nobody had ever heard of, which is alright because "you're not supposed to", is nearly two decades old. "We rose from the ashes of 9/11".

The Phoenix Group was established due in large part to the Patriot Act under whose auspices the intelligence communities "went into overdrive with surveillance. Certain civil rights groups had a hissy fit. They didn't like them listening into phone calls or checking emails." In response to the protests, "the government needed to come up with a department that, if not exactly broke the law, then bent it a little." By bending, they mean that "we don't wait for warrants, we don't read Miranda Rights. We're the fast track when it comes to hunting down the bad guys. We find out something, then we take a back seat and let the other departments know. We point them in the right direction, as it were."

Our introduction to this man has him sitting in a prison cell in Fort Leavenworth. He has been doing so for the past three years of a life sentence, though likely to be considerable since he is there for murder. The first year had been spent, we are told immediately, in maximum security but after showing that 'he wasn't out to make trouble', he was moved to medium security.

However, his time sitting is extremely short, one paragraph, before he is put in a suit, handcuffed, and escorted out by two MP's. Doyle had thought he was flying to the funeral of his wife and six-year-old daughter. He was wrong.

Doyle had "served twelve years in the army, nine of those as an Army Ranger, before his arrest". He held the rank of sergeant (no idea which level) prior to being arrested for shooting his commanding officer in Afghanistan. This definitely makes Doyle sound like a deadly man and while that description is accurate, the charge of fragging his commander was not. The details of what happened on that day are fuzzy to him due to an explosion which rocked his world but when the dust cleared away, the senior officer was dead from a bullet from Doyle's gun and Doyle was sent away for life.

His time behind bars will be shortened when he is made an offer. The same person who actually killed his CO and left him to take the blame was the one who victimized his family and the Phoenix Group wants his help to catch that female assassin. What would happen after that was hardly of importance, of course, since he likely would not survive this first mission.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2018

1 Final Steps Final Steps
Written by John Carson
Copyright: 2018

Max Doyle thought his life couldn't get any worse; he was serving a life sentence at Leavenworth. Then he was informed his wife and daughter had been murdered. When he is oddly allowed to be escorted to their funeral, he is surprised when he is offered a release in order to work for the Phoenix Group and hunt down a female assassin named Rose Arcana.
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2 Code Red Code Red
Written by John Carson
Copyright: 2018

Max Doyle and his team have several problems to address. A Russian diplomat and his bodyguards were killed in Central Park, victims of a nerve agent long thought destroyed. A wealthy businessman was assassinated in his car while heading to meet that man, though why they were meeting is a mystery. And then a heist at an event hosted by the Phoenix Group's New York office head is robbed. And somehow all three events might be linked.
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3 The October Project The October Project
Written by John Carson
Copyright: 2018

When a terrible attack is made on the Phoenix Group's L.A. office, two agents go missing. At first it was thought they died in the explosion. Then it was suspected they were behind the mayhem having gone rogue. Max Doyle receives a text from one of them but the words look like the ramblings on a crazy person. Doyle and team are sent to hunt her down but Doyle is certain there is something more than a couple of rogue agents.
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This is a fun, well-written series about a man of action who does not talk like he is one; he seems far more laconic than such a person would behave. At least until things start happening.

One thing that helps keep him grounded, as well as giving him a reason to make it back from a mission, is his daughter, Sally, first thought to have been killed but who survived. 

Doyle is a good man who has no desire to do bad things so when the mission calls for it, he learns to adjust his mission brief while still accomplishing the overall goal.


My Grade: B+


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