red_asscher_bk_liw red_asscher_bk_lif red_asscher_bk_lit
Full Name: Anya Pavlovitch and Mac Benson
Series Name: Red Asscher Spy Thriller
Nationality: American
Organization: Military Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: P. C. Chinick
Time Span: 2014 - 2020


Anya Pavlovitch is a Russian ex-pat working for the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI).

Macdonald 'Mac' Benson is a member of the newly formed O.S.S.

     The time period of this trilogy of adventures of these two people is 1943. The War Against Japan in the Far East was well underway but the Japanese were still very much in control of virtually every part of the Asian coastal region from Korea to Vietnam.

     When the first mission the two would go on was started, they had not yet met and when they do get pushed together for that assignment, they immediately decided they really had no use for each other. Making things even more interesting is that when the two are ordered to head to Shanghai, they shared a common mission but had really two quite different objectives. It is hard to form a trusting partnership when truth is hidden. And yet both will learn that survival will depend on that trust.

The author was kind enough to provide a limited character sheet for each of the two main characters in this series. According to those, we learn that:

Pavlovitch is 42 years of age, born in Moscow in 1902. She has jade green eyes with Titian red hair which had not yet been touched by any gray. She stands 5'4" tall and has a slender build. "Her petite features and complexion similar to vanilla ice cream gave her an air of youthfulness, even though the wrinkles at the corners of her eyes stood out". When we first meet her she is working as a translator for OWI, being an expert in several languages. 

Benson is 36 years old, born in Maine. He has blue eyes and brown hair. He is 6'1" tall with a 'brawny' build. On our first encounter with him he is working in the U.S. Navy as an Intelligence officer.

     Benson's opinion about Pavlovitch is not very high. Her rating of him is even lower. It makes for an interesting mission.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2014
Last Appearance:2020

1 Living in Fear Living in Fear
Written by P. C. Chinick
Copyright: 2014

"In 1943, Anya Pavlovitch, a Russian expatriate working for the U.S. War Department is asked to return to Shanghai, a place that holds painful memories and is currently occupied by Japanese forces. She must accompany a misogynistic Naval Intelligence Officer, Macdonald “Mac” Benson, recruited by the OSS. Mac Benson, a field operative pulled back to Washington after a mishap, is determined to redeem himself and avoid the confinement of a desk job. In Shanghai, Anya reunites with people from her past while Mac associates with unscrupulous characters, one in particular holds the key to Anya’s past. Her shenanigans put the two at odds. When the head of Shanghai’s opium trade kidnaps Mac, Anya must muster the courage to rescue him and redeem herself."
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2 Living in Turmoil Living in Turmoil
Written by P. C. Chinick
Copyright: 2017

"It’s 1943 and the War Department has ordered special agent Anya Pavlovitch to stop U.S. Navy Commander Mac Benson from completing his mission to assassinate Chiang Kai-shek’s unscrupulous head of security—at any cost. 
Anya discovers that Mac is on his way to Chungking. She enlists help from an old acquaintance and together they race against time across central China. Along their travels, they come up against a local resistance group and the surprise return of a treacherous antagonist. Unaware that his orders have been rescinded, Mac is determined to complete his mission. When Anya and Mac confront each other who will be the first to pull the trigger?"
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3 Living in War Living in War
Written by P. C. Chinick
Copyright: 2020

"The search for the Red Asscher continues to its conclusion. Now, [Anya Pavlovitch] is asked to accept a new assignment. The catch is she must trek through the steamy and treacherous Chinese jungle. In meeting up with local guerilla fighters, she discovers that her mission has gone awry. Chased by Japanese soldiers, she and others become prisoners. But her tenacity refuses to succumb to her circumstances, and she remains steadfast in her quest to retrieve her ring from the assassin Sun Temujin. Can she survive long enough to escape and accomplish her goal?"
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     I really enjoyed Benson's Neanderthal treatment of Pavlovitch at the beginning. I liked even more watch Pavlovitch fluctuate between being totally out of her element when it comes to the spycraft that Benson knows so well and being so very much more familiar and at home in a Japanese-controlled Shanghai.

     Following the two as they gradually learn they have to trust each other and depend on each other makes the books a lot of fun.

     Add to that the splendid feel of occupied Shanghai and the surrounding Chinese region make the series a darn good read.


My Grade: A-


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