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Full Name: Jon Swift
Nationality: British
Organization: None
Occupation Reporter

Creator: John Simpson
Time Span: 2018 - 2021


Jon Swift is a reporter.

We are told early on that he is "from the old stock of journos - cynical, cantankerous and overweight", which is true. He comes about his old school attitude the long way - by being old himself. Not as old as the geriatric media mogul who owns the organization for whom Swift works but getting closer it seems every day, being in his early 60s when we meet him.

Swift is definitely not a young pup looking for a great story to be his ticket up. He has had a few of those already in his time but now he recognizes, grudgingly, that those days are behind him. Nevertheless he still loves a good mystery and the chance to tell the facts regardless of the consequences. 

Swift's reporting is done via television, being the face before the camera on years and years of stories from all parts of the world. He is the one in front of a burning government building in some capital or next to a blown-up tank on a field of battle or outside a courthouse as the audience awaits a verdict in a scandal case. As he puts it, his is the face you see and know you know but cannot immediately place until after a bit you realize he is that guy on the television screen you've seen hundreds of times. He calls it "accidental familiarity"

Which is why when we encounter him in the first adventure, his plight is so unexpected. He is so down on his luck do to the events of that story which he will then recount, he is staying in a poor area of Paris and paying bills by lurking around outdoor cafes for someone to finish an expensive lunch and then leave the money on the table before walking out; Swift would quickly swoop in and swipe the currency (never mind the coins!) and scamper. Except someone of his age and his weight does not scamper that well.

Swift's condition will not improve come the next adventure and his chances for survival will be even less but his irascibility will only get stronger.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2021

1 Moscow, Midnight Moscow, Midnight
Written by John Simpson
Copyright: 2018

Government minister Patrick Macready has been found dead in his flat. The coroner rules it an accident, a sex game gone wrong. Jon Swift senses that was not the case. When the deceased's flat is burgled, Swift learns the man had been looking into the similar deaths of several Russian government figures. As Swift delves deeper, he enters the very dark and dangerous world of assassination and secret agents.

2 Our Friends In Beijing Our Friends In Beijing
Written by John Simpson
Copyright: 2021

When Jon Swift bumps into Lin Lifeng in an Oxford cafe, Swift is a bit suspicious since it had been many years since they last met. Then Lifeng, a former radical Chinese student, asks him to pass on a coded message and Swift knows he is onto a much-needed story. This will take him to Beijing and up against killers, spies, and government officials who will do anything to further their goals.


The writing of this so-far two book series is well into the exquisite range. This is important to say up front because it is needed to be known before I say that I do not think I like Jon Swift.

Mind you, he is one terrific character and the troubles he gets himself into because he is incapable of letting a story go untold or mystery unsolved. He is a hoot. But I do not think I like him. Personally. He's the kind of guy who will push to have you pick up the tab at a meal and then secretly pocket any tip you leave. And be all indignant if caught.

Still, he is a darned good reporter and investigator and he will uncover a couple of fascinating stories and then report on them in a highly entertaining and informative and enjoyable manner. And then go have a couple too many drinks at a bar, skipping out leaving you with the tab.


My Grade: A-


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