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LAWSON VAMPIRE

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Full Name: Lawson
Series Name: Lawson Vampire
Nationality: American
Organization: The Council
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jon F. Merz
Time Span: 2002 - 2020

ABOUT THE SERIES

Lawson is an agent with the Council.

A whole lot needs explaining to really understand that opening statement.

First, Lawson is the name we know him by because that is the name everyone uses for him. First name? Maybe. More likely last name with the first name not being noticed by me so far. It does not matter much, though, because he is, well, Lawson.

Second, agent is correct as he works for and on the behalf of his employers. He and they refer to his position, though, as Fixer because that is what he is called to do - fix a situation. Usually that means eliminating someone from this plane of existence; it does not always call for such extreme solutions but more likely than not, it does. Lawson is very good at his job so there are an impressive number of people no longer walking this world because of him. He does not particularly like having to go that far but he does like his job overall and he plans on keeping it.

Third, the Council is the governing body for beings like Lawson. I say 'being' instead of human because Lawson is a vampire. Which in the Lawson-universe means that he is a race similar to but definitely not human. There are other races as well but as far as Lawson is concerned, the two main ones are Human and Vampire. Well, there are the Lycans which Lawson will have to deal with from time to time but for the most part, it is the two mentioned.

The important thing to keep in mind is that vampires know, obviously about humans, there being over seven billion of them on the planet and nowhere eve close to that number of vampires. But the humans, except for a very, very few, have no idea of the vampires, except in fiction. The vampires for the most part want to keep it that way as they have for several thousand years.

Lawson's attitude towards the other race as well as his job is described by him as, "I had nothing against humans. But my sole purpose for existing was to protect the Balance - that line between humans and vampires that had to be guarded at all costs. Knowing that there were humans fully aware of the existence of vampires could mean one of two things for me: that humans would eventually embrace us, thus putting me out of a job; or that they'd hunt us down, meaning my job would get a lot busier."

Lawson is described in the blurbs about his adventures as being "a cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance - the secret existence of a race of LIVING vampires that have evolved alongside humanity for thousands of years". He is, as stated above, a Fixer, "part-spy, and part-commando - James Bond (or sometimes Jason Bourne) with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home".

BOOKS

Number of Books:15
First Appearance:2002
Last Appearance:2020

Providing a listing of books and short stories/novellas for the Lawson series is interesting and challenging. The author has written numerous books and then provided loads of smaller adventures which take place in between these larger ones.

I have separated the books from those smaller tales but I provide a numbering sequence so readers can, if they choose, read in the order they happen.

Making this list even more run are a handful of adventures which take place before the first published book. These were written after the first few books but regard events before them. He has labelled these as Lawson Vampire Origins. I have noted where in that sequence they occur.


1 The Fixer The Fixer
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2002

#1 in the Lawson Vampire series.
A vampire name Cosgrove that Lawson tried, against the orders of the Council, to kill years before but failed has come to Chicago with something very bad planned. Now the Council has okayed his elimination but Lawson knows that Cosgrove is well aware of the orders.
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2 The Invoker The Invoker
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2002

#2 in the Lawson Vampire series.
The order for Lawson to take out the vampire named Watterson was supposedly because he was selling drugs and attracting attention, a no-no in the vampire community. Lawson discovers, however, that it was really so Council member Arvella could have access to his son Jack who is an invoker and can open a portal to the spirit world and Arvella's purpose is not a good one.
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3 The Destructor The Destructor
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2003

#3 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Shiva is the name of the deadliest assassin that Lawson has ever known, half vampire and half werewolf and capable of shape-shifting which has saved her from him before. Now she is on a tear wiping out Fixers all over the country and has just arrived in Lawson's area. But she is not out for Lawson but for a Council member named Belarus who has been targeting Shiva's people. Lawson is stuck in the middle.
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4 The Syndicate The Syndicate
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2003

#4 in the Lawson Vampire series.
When a family member goes missing while in New York City, Lawson heads to the Big Apple to search and finds himself running up against the Syndicate, a conclave of vampires who have no use for the Balance. They are holding the family member hostage to force Lawson to join them.
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5 The Kensei The Kensei
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#7 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson heads to Japan to get some rest as well as take in advanced ninja training. What he finds as soon as he gets there is a turf war inside the Yakuza brought about by someone called the Kensei. That individual is making a lot of money dealing in organ trafficking and using it to create an army of vampire-human hybrids. Helping Lawson is the former KGB-assassin named Talya.
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6 The Enchanter The Enchanter
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#2 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
During WWII, Hitler had a plan to ship Jews out of Europe to Madagascar where he can eliminate them without prying eyes. A Fixer named Hjelm has infiltrated his inner circle but then turned to the other side and needs fixing himself. now four decades later, in 1973, Lawson and his mentor, Zero, are assigned a job on that island to stop Hjelm who would like vampires to take their rightful place out in the open and in charge.

7 The Ripper The Ripper
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2016

#9 in the Lawson Vampire series.
The Ripper is a serial killer who is attacking young vampire females and leaving their eviscerated bodies on Boston's streets. Complicating Lawson's efforts to stop the horrific murders is the arrival of Xiang, a Chinese assassin who wants to end Lawson's existence.
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8 The Crucible The Crucible
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2016

#17 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Talya has been kidnapped by Xiang, a Chinese Fixer who works for the communist government. The goal is to lure Lawson to the Far East to eliminate him but Lawson has other plans. He enlists the aid of Jack, an Invoker, to rescue Talya in a mission that the Council does not authorize.
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9 A Forced Disappearance A Forced Disappearance
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2016

#22 in the Lawson Vampire series and the 1st of his Dark Ops missions.
The disappearance of a young protegee of the Lycanthrope elder Belladonna sees Lawson called in to locate her. This will cause Lawson to have to go into Lycan territory, very much forbidden for a vampire and something the Council is definitely not okaying.

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10 The Succubus The Succubus
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2017

#24 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Two vampires are found eviscerated in different hotels in Boston and the clues are nearly non-existent. As Lawson's frustration at getting nowhere grows, he is forced to pull in a human police homicide detective, very much a no-no to the Council. Greatly complicating matters is the fact that the killer is using magic to mask all activity.

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11 The Koryo Escort The Koryo Escort
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2017

#25 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Going into North Korea is never a good idea. Doing it to help Talya bring out a defector who has intel on that nation's nuclear capabilities means a very difficult mission for Lawson. And things get even more messy when the Council wants him to use the occasion to learn of the plight of vampires living in that totalitarian country.
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12 Daughter Of Night Daughter Of Night
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2017

#26 in the Lawson Vampire series.
The terrorist organization Boko Haram has kidnapped the daughter of a Nigerian vampire family. When Lawson is teamed with another Fixer to head to Nigeria to get her back. The mission will land him deep in the world of arms dealing and human trafficking.
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13 The Cairo Connection The Cairo Connection
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2017

#3 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1981. Lawson's mentor, Zero, asks him to track down a rogue vampire who is the money man for various Middle East terrorist groups. Lawson and Zero head to Egypt to begin their investigation and they will soon learn that the hunted vampire has the backing of someone on the Council.
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14 The Arcanum The Arcanum
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2018

#28 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Assassins possessing skills they should not have is just one of the things that Niles, the Control for Lawson, is worried about as he has his Fixer look into a spate of dead spies. Clues point to a frightening conspiracy underway inside the Council.
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15 Ghost Work Ghost Work
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#31 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson was enjoying some delightful R&R in Spain when his Control calls him away to Sarajevo. A new territorial vampire governor is visiting there and Niles is concerned a hit may be planned on the man despite his having a Spectre security team protecting him. Lawson will learn that someone wants the governor dead ... really wants it!
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:30
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2020

1 The Price Of A Good Drink The Price Of A Good Drink
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#5 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson is looking forward to a much needed rest in Japan but for someone like Lawson even a trip to the airport can lead to trouble.
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2 The Courier The Courier
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#6 in the Lawson Vampire series.
While heading to Japan for his rest, Lawson receives a message to divert to the Philippines to look into a situation where the existence of the vampire race is in danger of being revealed. Lawson is, unfortunately, all on his own with no Control or backup.
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3 Enemy Mine Enemy Mine
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#8 in the Lawson Vampire series.
After the events in The Kensei, Lawson is still in Japan and is told to head to the city of Sendai in the northern part of the country. There he is find and eliminate an assassin known as the Silencer. As the two prepare to do battle, they are both forced to deal with a horrific storm that will force them to work together to survive.
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4 Rudolf the Red Nosed Rogue Rudolf the Red Nosed Rogue
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#10 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson is spending this year's Christmas Eve in Boston's Chinatown investigating someone trafficking illegal guns to the gangsters operating there.
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5 Interlude Interlude
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#11 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson learns some vital info on the location of an ancient vampire artifact but as he moves to follow the clues, he learns there are a pair of dangerous opponents also after it and quite willing to kill him along the way.
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6 The Shepherd The Shepherd
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#12 in the Lawson Vampire series.
The Shepherd is a vampire operating along the Pakistani-Afghan border helping Taliban soldiers move back and forth in exchange for young children to feed his hunger. The Council wants him put down and sends Lawson to do it but Lawson has never worked that area before and must put his faith in the help of people he has just met.
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7 Red Tide Red Tide
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#13 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson has his hands full on a trip to Cape Cod when he has to deal with a gang of killers out for his head but even as he works to deal with them, he is certain there is more to attacks.
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8 Frosty The Hitman Frosty The Hitman
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#14 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Ava is the Council member that Lawson likes the least and that is person that he must spend the day before Christmas with as there is an assassin out to eliminate her and Lawson is her only hope.
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9 A Fog Of Fury A Fog Of Fury
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2012

#15 in the Lawson Vampire series.
The death of an influential vampire in a town on the coast of Maine has left a power hole in the community. Lawson is sent there to act as mediator and he needs the assistance of Jack, the Involker.
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10 Invitation To Dance Invitation To Dance
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2012

#16 in the Lawson Vampire series.
This is not an adventure per se but more of an introduction to the troubles detailed in The Crucible. Lawson is asked to head to Chicago for a simple matter by a Council member. This will provide the starting point for an attack by Lawson's enemy, Xiang.
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11 Oathbreaker Oathbreaker
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2012

#18 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Someone in a hospital is draining patients dry and Lawson is sent undercover to work there to learn who and why.
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12 Do You Kill What I Kill? Do You Kill What I Kill?
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2018

#19 in the Lawson Vampire series.
In another Christmas story, Lawson is being hunted by some very dangerous and determined people. He has a plan, though, which involves luring them to a house currently empty as its occupants are on vacation. His plan has a couple of problems.
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13 Incident At Palmyra Incident At Palmyra
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2016

#20 in the Lawson Vampire series.
The locale for this adventure is Syria. A Fixer STA-F team has been ambushed and its members taken hostage. As the Council begins a process to get them rescued, it sends Lawson to the region to perform preliminary reconnaissance. It is on site that he sees things are not as they seem.
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14 Lady Of The Dead Lady Of The Dead
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2016

#21 in the Lawson Vampire series.
She is known as La Calavera Catrina, or Lady of the Dead. She runs with wicked severity a new vampire drug cartel in Mexico and she is spreading her domain quickly. The Council sends in Lawson to put an end to her.
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15 Here Comes Santa Claus Here Comes Santa Claus
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2018

#23 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Shopping at the mall during Christmas is something Lawson dreads. This year is even more so when he comes across a particularly nasty person out after some very special children.
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16 Roll-Up Roll-Up
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2018

#27 in the Lawson Vampire series.
It is a beautiful sunny morning in Boston. Lawson has to take care of a very simple, cut-and-dried elimination. Nothing could be easier.
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17 The Bakeneko The Bakeneko
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#29 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson is sent back to Japan to look into a series of murders which might have been done by a rogue vampire. He will quickly discover a foreigner, and a Westerner, is not very welcome in a small town, especially if he is a Fixer.
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18 Let It Blow, Let It Blow, Let It Blow Let It Blow, Let It Blow, Let It Blow
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#30 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson is a guest at a fancy wedding at an exclusive club when he discovers a terrible plot underway which will require him to make an instant decision or risk being one of many blown to pieces.
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19 The Specialist The Specialist
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#32 in the Lawson Vampire series.
Lawson is joined by a STA-F team to storm a warehouse and rescue a hostage. Unfortunately, there is very little intel on the locale or the opposition.
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20 A Deadly Silence A Deadly Silence
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#33 in the Lawson Vampire series.
With Covid locking down cities around the world, in Boston of 2020, Lawson is busy doing nothing much when he gets a call from his Control telling him two humans were found bled dry. Lawson is joined in his investigation by his homicide detective friend but killing a vampire in front of a human is a no-no.
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21 The Estranged The Estranged
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#34 in the Lawson Vampire series.
When directed by the Council to investigate an apartment building, Lawson comes across an old vampire woman who has a very angry and vengeful sister using black magic to go after family members.
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22 Tis The Treason Tis The Treason
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#35 in the Lawson Vampire series.
It is Christmas of 2020. Niles directs Lawson to assist in the defection of a Lycan. That in itself could bring about a new major war but things are even more complicated when it seems the Lycan in question may not want to cross over.
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23 Dead Drop Dead Drop
short story
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#1 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
Taking place in 1968, Lawson is just out of Fixer training and assigned to work with experienced Fixer named Zero. They head to Thailand to pick up intel on a North Vietnamese general planning genocide along the border with Laos. A simple retrieval soon becomes bloody.
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24 Mission: Malta Mission: Malta
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2012

#4 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1982. Lawson was getting a nice break from his Selection training to be a qualified STA-F member. He is flying to Santorini to enjoy the beaches there when the plan is hijacked by three vampires and forced to fly to Malta. The trio want Lawson to sneak out of the plane while on the runway and break a fourth person out of protective custody.
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25 Have Yourself A Deadly Little Christmas Have Yourself A Deadly Little Christmas
novella
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#5 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1986, nearing Christmas. Lawson is recently back from Europe and enjoying a cold beer in a bar when hell breaks loose courtesy of a would-be big shot and his two goons - and someone Lawson was never expecting.
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26 The Infiltrator The Infiltrator
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2011

#6 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1987. An artifact stolen from Council headquarters is the item Lawson is sent to Vienna to retrieve. The lovely and very appealing Liesel has other thoughts.
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27 Killing Around The Christmas Tree Killing Around The Christmas Tree
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#7 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1989. As communist governments begin to fall, Lawson is sent to Berlin to assist a Ferret who is bringing out a ton of classified info gotten from a Soviet asset. Unfortunately, a Soviet spy wants to stop the transaction - and kill Lawson in the process.
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28 Ghost In The Machine Ghost In The Machine
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#8 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1992. The locale is Vienna. Lawson has agreed to help a human smuggle his sister out of Czechoslovakia. Complicating things is the fact she is in charge of a paranormal research facility the KGB wants to keep running.
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29 The Snitch Who Stole Christmas The Snitch Who Stole Christmas
novelette
Written by Jon F. Merz
Copyright: 2020

#9 in the Lawson Vampire Origins series.
The year is 1999. It is Christmas Eve. Lawson has to pass up a date with two flight attendants to help his human friend, Detective Larazo, provide protection for an informant against a Haitian drug cartel. It will not be an easy night.
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MY COMMENTS

The blurbs for some of the adventures describes Lawson as "Bond with fangs" and "Bourne with fangs"; the latter is better because being a natural vampire with vampire parents, he was literally "born with fangs". (Okay, I amuse myself.)

Of the two literary giants, though, the former is more apt because Bond is routinely sent to investigate problems and rectify them, using his license to kill if it proves necessary. That is spot on with Lawson's 'fixer' vocation.

The writing style of the author, Jon Merz, is terrific for these adventures; conversational and descriptive without trying to be moody or dark. Lawson is of another species, not a undead stalker of the night. The prose moves the story quickly and surely and, more importantly, entertainingly.

I am especially pleased with his frequent use of the short story and novella mediums to tell swift and succinct adventures without trying to stretch them out. In today's digital era, I think this is a good idea that more authors should try.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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