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THE 24TH NAME

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Full Name: Unnamed
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: John Braddock
Time Span: 2015 - 2019

ABOUT THE SERIES

       The 24th Name is an agent with the CIA.
       Well, he was. For quite a few years according to him he was an operative with the Agency and spent a considerable amount of his career in the Middle East. When we meet up with him, he is three years separated from Langley and working apparently as a consultant. He does not get into that very much except to say that in that trio of years he had allowed himself to go soft. He had 'atrophied"
       "I left the travel and surveillance and late-night meetings. I left the third-world and criminal conspiracies and political games. I left the gunfights and money runs and cross border car chases." He had a new job but not a new goal and so he quickly lost the edge he had owned while putting his life in danger. He will even more quickly get that hone back when he is pulled by an old friend into a case which could easily have involved his old employers.
       The appellation '24th Name' is bizarre. It has a reason which the man using it lets us know quite a way into the first recorded adventure. Before then he is unnamed. After the explanation, he is still unknown to us and the few that will know him by that 24th name of Jake will be wrong though they will not know it.
       "My parents gave me a name. The CIA gave me twenty-two more." That is how the man will pass on to us the fact that there have been in his life quite a variety of identities. He lets us know that when he left the Agency, he went back to using his parent-given name but what that is remains a mystery.
     How and why he will assume that 24th identity of Jake is explained in due course in the pages of the first adventure.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2019

     This is an interesting series for a couple of reasons.
     The order I give is not the order by which they were apparently copyrighted. I chose the order that I did because it, IMHO, makes better reading sense. Consuming them in this order should make enjoyment optimum.
     The first novella has an ending although it leaves the door wide open for the events of the second. The second - not so much with the ending. Yes, it has one but it begs for a third novella which after several years is still not available.
     The third through fifth novellas are fascinating how-to instructional texts for analyzing Thinking, Strategy, and Risk Taking, all from the perspective of an operative. These are based on the author's experiences in the CIA and his subsequent work as a strategy consultant. However, interspersed with the analysis are many anecdotes from his days as a field agent with the Agency.

1 The 24th Name The 24th Name
novella
Written by John Braddock
Copyright: 2018

When Jake called on the unnamed hero of this series, it was to ask for help in tracking some unusual weapons being tested at different shooting ranges around the Northeast. That would lead to a search for a missing girl and an obscene human trafficking operation mixed with a Medicare scam.
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2 The 24th Name, Part II The 24th Name, Part II
Written by John Braddock
Copyright: 2019

"With Jake Beamer's name, I waited for Angelo's people to find me. I thought the attack would come on Day Five. I thought they would send at least a group of guys. Instead, they sent just one, and I learned I had run into Angelo's people before."
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3 A Spy's Guide To Thinking A Spy's Guide To Thinking
Written by John Braddock
Copyright: 2015

"There are a select few people who get things done. Spies are first among them. In a 45 minute read, a former spy introduces two simple tools for thinking. The first describes how we think. The second helps us think ahead. They are the essential tools for getting things done. The tools are applied to an incident in a subway car in Europe where a spy faces a new enemy. Then, they're reapplied to Saddam Hussein's stockpiling (or not) of weapons of mass destruction."

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4 A Spy's Guide To Strategy A Spy's Guide To Strategy
Written by John Braddock
Copyright: 2015

"Discover a spy's simple tools for strategy. What if you could see world politics through a spy's eyes? What if you could understand events quickly? What if you knew what to expect when you read the news? You can with A Spy's Guide To Strategy. Plus, you can build your own strategy with these tools. You can understand the strategies of co-workers, bosses and competitors. You can see what they're going to do before they do it."
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5 A Spy's Guide To Taking Risks A Spy's Guide To Taking Risks
Written by John Braddock
Copyright: 2019

"On his first day in alias, follow a spy through risky encounters. Is he under surveillance? Why did the Border Patrol surround him? What does he do with a source who almost killed someone? Every answer has repercussions for his day, his life, and the lives of many others. You see through his eyes what it means to take risks when the stakes are high and lives are on the line. You see the impact of small choices and situational awareness. You see the structure of risks, the importance of understanding necessary conditions and having fallbacks. You see how a spy takes risks."
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MY COMMENTS

     I absolutely adored this series. It was the staccato writing, terse and to the point (something I have never learned) which grabbed me. That and the oddity of the name for the series.
     As I alluded to in the comments to the Novella section, there are two parts to this series.
     The first part consists of the first two novellas which deal with missions he was on with the Agency and dealing with a similar issue after leaving the Company.
     The second part are instructional how-to's that refer back to his time with the CIA and are fascinating to read.
     It has been a while since these came out. I do not know if he plans to add to the set or not. I hope so. 

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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