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JONATHAN WEST

west_jonathan_bk_mg west_jonathan_bk_tpy west_jonathan_bk_fk
 
Full Name: Jonathan West
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: William J. Kennedy
Time Span: 2016 - 2922

ABOUT THE SERIES

Jonathan West is an agent with the CIA.

More specifically, he is an assassin. He would be the first to point out the distinction so it seems reasonable to take the man at his word since lying about being an assassin seems a lot less common than being one and saying you weren't.

He is also an MD and he is quite proud, understandably, about that achievement as well although again he would willingly admit to there being a bit of a conflict between his licensed medical profession and the Agency's orders to terminate with extreme prejudice various people.

The very opening paragraph of the first recorded adventure gives a pretty interesting explanation of sorts: "My name is Jonathan West, MD-collegiate hockey all-American, Ivy League-educated physician, adjunct professor of medicine, pharmaceutical industry executive, US government assassin (retired). If you Google me, you'll find several pages of material written either about me or by me. It's all relatively benign, the chronicle of a successful physician in the pharmaceutical industry, interesting to only a few. You'll not find any mention of my government work. If you review the newspaper headlines of the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you'll read accounts of death and mayhem, large and small, that altered the course of this country's policy or history. Some of it was my doing, but the accounts are without reference to me; many of these incidents are presumed to have been accidents."

He then explains, sort of, that "I wasn't always an assassin; I grew into the job". Further, "I didn't wake up one morning and decide to be an assassin. It wasn't a career choice! It was a series of small steps".

West always wanted to be a doctor and was on his way to achieving that when his interest in hockey and a hope that maybe a career on the ice might also be possible caused him to take a break between his undergraduate years and moving on to med school, all to see if he would be called up by the NHL. He wasn't. He was, however, called up by the army and seeing as this was the late 60s, Vietnam seemed a reasonable destination.

Except it wasn't and he ended up in a sub-branch of Military Intelligence and stationed at the Pentagon. It was there that one of the many items of discussion was the matter of hijacking a plane for profit and West, after a few drinks at the local watering hole, came up with an idea that somehow made it to higher-ups and ... eventually West would be asked to enact his crazy idea and that is how he went down in history as a chap dubbed D.B. Cooper.

After that, the CIA and a career in assassination alongside Harvard medical school and a career as a doctor.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2922

1 First Kill First Kill
aka Jonathan West, MD - First Kill
Written by William J. Kennedy
Copyright: 2016

"All Jonathan West ever wanted was to become a physician. So when opportunity comes knocking regarding the guaranteed admission into the Ivy League school of his dreams, he doesn't say no - even though it means becoming a spy for the CIA. He did not expect that as part of his duties learning how to save lives, he would be asked by the Agency to kill as well. Or that he would learn he is pretty good at it and it did not bother him near as much as he might have thought.
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2 The Pentagon Years The Pentagon Years
Written by William J. Kennedy
Copyright: 2922

Imagine the madcap characters of MASH transported to Vietnam-era Pentagon. Like their Korean War counterparts, these young men are recent college graduates drafted into military service for an unpopular war. Toiling in the basement office of the Pentagon, far from the rice paddies on the other side of the world, war is not an abstraction for them.
With a profound sense of obligation to their brothers in the jungle, they couple compassion and humor to cause mayhem in the bureaucratic process with their zany antics."
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2 Morally Gray Morally Gray
Written by William J. Kennedy
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1975. Jonathan West is officially working as a pharmaceutical researcher, complete with his medical degree. He is married with a 1-yr old son. Life is good. That might change though when he is given another assignment by the CIA - travel to tense Iran to use his skill in medicine to get close enough to use his other skillset - assassin. His target is the powerful but ailing Shah.
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MY COMMENTS

I want to point out that when I found and grabbed the three books in this series, I did not expect what I actually got. True, the blurb on the third book talked about it being along the lines of MASH but then again, blurb say all sorts of things.

I was hoping I would find the occasional amusing tidbit here and there and I was not disappointed. The third book especially is rife with funny biting satire roasting a military from the early 70s, a time I was also just learning how "interesting" military logic and ways of doing things could be. 

The first two books are also filled with humor and they poke at their fair share of bears but they are more story driven. The difference between the first two books and the third is significant.

I really would read them in order listed above.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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