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Full Name: Nick Severance
Nationality: American
Organization: Crimson Dragon Society
Occupation Agent

Creator: Mark McKay
Time Span: 2015 - 2018


Nick Severance is an agent with the Crimson Dragon Society (CDS).

He will be, at least, and that will present him with several immensely exciting and dangerous assignments around the world. That is what will earn him a position in this compendium.

When we first meet Severance, however, he is a detective with the City of London police. Detective Chief Inspector, to be precise which shows he has been a copper for a while already by the time we encounter him in his first recorded adventure. In that line of work Severance had "seen quite a few dead people" but his job was investigating their deaths and if called for, bringing their assailants to justice. No one sought to make him one of these victims. That will change when he changes jobs.

The oddly named organization that Severance will come to work for, the CDS, is an "unofficial Japanese intelligence agency" started by a man named Mashida. That man had been a military intelligence officer starting a few years before WWII, working largely to collect intelligence on Russia. After the War and the dismantling of Japan's official spy and counterspy organizations, Mashida believed that "in time Japan would need its own secret service", Mashida created his own, "with covert American blessing", though "as far as Japan and her allies were officially concerned, it didn't exist."

Severance is 40 years old when we first meet him, born in 1975 and that first encounter taking place in 2015. He has no plans or desires to leave the police force but he will find his employment brought to a most definite end during the course of that first adventure. That is when the offer to work for the CDS will be made.

Severance will meet halfway in the second adventure the extremely capable Mariko Mashida, granddaughter of the CDS founder. She is in her "mid to late twenties", tall for a Japanese woman, with "shoulder length jet-black hair framing a long and attractive oval face with very pale, unblemished skin". Mariko will become an intimate part of Severance's life, first professionally and then personally.


Number of Books:6
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2018

1 A Terminal Agenda A Terminal Agenda
Written by Mark McKay
Copyright: 2015

"Why would an archaeological researcher just back from India be gunned down on a London street? That’s the question facing DCI Nick Severance as he investigates his latest murder case. When the answers threaten to destroy everything he cares about, he makes a choice that will change his life forever. But is there life after terror?"
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2 A Trade To Die For A Trade To Die For
Written by Mark McKay
Copyright: 2016

"When Nick Severance gets his first assignment from the shadowy Japanese intelligence agency he joined after fleeing the UK, it seems easy enough. All he has to do is play the babysitter and escort a retired MI6 agent to a safe house. But when Nick discovers why the agent needs help, the game changes.
What was done secretly 20 years ago still has the power to ruin lives. But there's no one else left alive who knows anything about it. Until now. Someone with plenty to lose wants the secrets of the past to stay buried. And he'll do anything it takes to make that happen. But he's not the only one who wants something.
Nick must draw on all his resources as he becomes entangled in a web of lies, deceit and murder. His first assignment might just be his last."
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3 The Revenge Season The Revenge Season
Written by Mark McKay
Copyright: 2016

"Is revenge really a dish best served cold?
Nick Severance is about to find out, the hard way. When pharmaceutical researcher Julian Frost is brutally murdered, Nick Severance is asked to investigate.
Julian had recently returned to England from the Amazon rainforest in Peru, where he was looking for plant samples that could be developed into profitable new drugs. What he found there apparently sealed his death warrant.
Nick retraces Julian’s journey and meets some new and interesting people, some of whom would like him dead. While he attempts to survive their unique brand of hospitality, a new threat emerges in the form of someone from his past, who thinks this is the perfect moment for retribution."
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4 The Imperfect Assassin The Imperfect Assassin
Written by Mark McKay
Copyright: 2017

"Take a woman, whose physical abilities have been enhanced by the latest genetic technology. Train her to use them to kill enemies of the state. Put her out in the field and let her do her job. And when she’s done your bidding and she’s no more use to you, decommission her with extreme prejudice. If you can.
Nick Severance has a new assignment. When his wedding celebrations in Japan are interrupted by news of a local killing in unusual circumstances, he is ordered to find the person responsible. His first clue takes him to London, and from there he goes on the hunt for a woman who manages to stays one step ahead as she does the lethal job she was trained for. By the time they meet, she’s being sought by several people and the results of her actions threaten to harm thousands more. Can she redeem herself? Does she want to? And will Nick help, hinder or kill her?"
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5 The Brexit Affair The Brexit Affair
Written by Mark McKay
Copyright: 2017

"Nick Severance is on a visit to the UK from Japan when he is contacted by Gabriel Johnston of MI6. One of Johnston's agents has disappeared after taking delivery of a brand-new computer virus that could seriously damage the UK's infrastructure. With suspicions of a traitor in Johnston's team running high, Nick agrees to unofficially assist in tracking down the missing agent."
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5 The Godzone Connection The Godzone Connection
Written by Mark McKay
Copyright: 2018

"Phoebe Fraser is an English woman working at a private bank in Tokyo. When she steals $10 million from a client’s account and then disappears, Nick and Mariko Severance are brought in as private investigators, to track her down.
It looks like a simple case of greed, until the body of someone close to Phoebe washes up on a beach in Tokyo Bay. Murder becomes linked with theft and Phoebe is the main suspect. One way or another, she has to be found.
The search takes Nick halfway around the world to New Zealand, where he unravels a story involving insider dealing, love and betrayal, and ultimate revenge. But he isn’t the only one searching.
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It is really nice to come across a series like this one in which the man-who-would-be-an-agent comes to that new line of work from a different angle than I am used to. Granted there have been other operatives who were with the police beforehand but it is not that common.

Severance takes it a big step further. He goes from being a British homicide detective with a warrant card as his authority to working for a shadowing Japanese intelligence organization where secrecy and anonymity are important. Watching him change his methods and thinking is enjoyable.


My Grade: B+


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