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MARK ERICKSEN

ericksen_mark_bk_tec ericksen_mark_bk_trv
 
Full Name: Mark Ericksen
Nationality: American
Organization: EyeD4 Systems
Occupation CEO

Creator: Barry L. Becker
Time Span: 2016 - 2021

ABOUT THE SERIES

Mark Ericksen is the CEO of EyeD4.

Well, he is an executive vice president of the company initially but he will get the bump up.

EyeD4 is "a biometrics technology firm, utilizing both the Iris and the Palm Vein patterns in access control and encryption communications". That is hi-tech talk for a revolutionary and proprietary system of communications which scans both the user's eyeball and his/her palm print to ensure only authorized personnel can use it. Couple that with highly encrypted transmission and you have a system of extremely secure comms. This is very much desired by the military. It is also coveted by the same people the military is hunting, namely terrorists.

The action for the Ericksen books take place just about a decade after 9/11. Ericksen, born in 1970, is nearing his 40th birthday but he has the physique of a man a good deal younger because of his near-obsessive determination to keep in shape with constant rigorous exercise.

We are told in both prose and in a CIA fact sheet that Ericksen was a Dane at birth, born in Copenhagen but moving with his parents to the States at a fairly young age, raised in the state of Washington. He earned a computer science degree from OSU where he was also an All-American wrestler.

He used that degree to get a commission when he joined the US Navy in 1992. He was selected for the elite SEAL program and served with SEAL Team 8 from '93-'98. After being switched to Team 6 he would engage in highly classified ops throughout the Middle East before the start of the second Gulf War and the resultant tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ericksen is a widower, having married his adored Karen in 2000 but losing her in a car accident while he was overseas just over a year later.

A terrible situation turned horrible in Afghanistan when Ericksen, on strident orders from his superior, killed an Afghan colleague suspected to be a Talib informer only to learn soon after the man was innocent. The anger and guilt that he felt for his boss as well as the CIA was intense and he resigned his commission. The PTSD he would endure over the following years was horrific and he never lost his distrust.

That makes it interesting when, a few years later, the CIA comes to him asking for his help.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2021

1 The Ericksen Connection The Ericksen Connection
Written by Barry L. Becker
Copyright: 2016

"In 2009, the CIA receives actionable intel from Saudi intelligence stating a terrorist mastermind plans to attack two American cities with nuclear suitcase bombs. The mastermind, Khalid Al-Bustani, wants to obtain EyeD4 Systems' cutting-edge biometrics security encrypted communications systems.
The CIA contracts with Ericksen, now executive vice-president of marketing for EyeD4 Systems, to sabotage the terrorist mastermind's plans. Can Ericksen avoid discovery, overcome his PTSD, and thwart the nuclear plot before a network of international spies, counterspies, and terrorists achieve their evil goals?"
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2 The Ryzhkov Vendetta The Ryzhkov Vendetta
Written by Barry L. Becker
Copyright: 2021

A Russian oligarch and former GRU general, Alexander Ryzhkov, is out for revenge after a CIA operation resulted in the death of the man's brother. After buying a list of the operatives' names, he starts a vendetta by going after former operative Mark Ericksen.
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MY COMMENTS

I like an occasional series about someone in business getting mixed-up, almost invariably without meaning to, in covert activities. It is the intriguing idea of a largely competent man in one field being a fish-out-of-water in another. This one is a tad different, though, and that made it even more interesting because it was so different.

Here we have a fellow who was happily in business but had extensive training in taking care of himself so when bad guys start coming after him, well, he instinctively reverts to his other training and, dang! This does not mean he is perfect in both but he sure can surprise folks not expecting him.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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