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JACK WHITFIELD

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Full Name: Jack Whitfield
Nationality: American
Organization: Unnamed Agency
Occupation Agent

Creator: John W. Mefford
Time Span: 2022 - 2023

ABOUT THE SERIES

Jack Whitfield is an agent with an unnamed organization.

We learn very, very little about the group of people who dictate which people they will send Whitfield to either eliminate or seriously mess with. Whitfield is as much in the dark as we are. He bemoans that fact numerous times but knows that initially at least all he knows about them is that their representative is named Simon and they are utterly ruthless, just ask Whitfield's wife, Anna.

Actually, you can't because in the very first couple of pages where we meet him, he walks into his home where he is quite happy with Anna and their five-year-old daughter, Maddie, only to discover the wife is dead from a slit throat and the daughter is missing. An incoming text informs him, "We have your daughter. Leave your house and get into the black car waiting for you outside. Do it now or your daughter will die." With that ominous statement, Whitfield is directed to a waiting car, has a bag put over his head, and then driven hours to an undisclosed location (in or around Atlanta [he peeked]). 

Why Simon and his group picked Whitfield is not mentioned (as far as I could find) and what made him the candidate they just had to have so much so that they murder without hesitation and kidnap a child and then leap right into threats remains a mystery. He does not seem to ponder that oddity and we never hear him challenge anyone as to why him and why did his wife have to die and not get kidnapped like his daughter. He just accepts it.

Just as he accepts the fact that once at his secret destination, his life is altered even more with days and days of intense physical training and conditioning, lessons in a wide variety of fields including acquiring a convincing British accent. He even saw his body inked to a fantastic amount with "a one-eyed tattoo artist who jammed to Megadeth as he inked almost a third of my body". At each new twist in his forced metamorphosis, he is threatened repeatedly with harm to Maddie and a promise that should he complete his upcoming assignment, he would be reunited with her at last.

Of course, he does succeed and they do renege on their promise and there is yet another mission that he must do or she will be hurt and if he does everything will be peachy. Rinse and Repeat.

BOOKS

Number of Books:7
First Appearance:2022
Last Appearance:2023

1 Never Go Back Never Go Back
aka Barracuda
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2022

"Jack Whitfield must rescue a girl half a world away If he ever wants to see his daughter again. The foreign theater is unlike anything he’s ever experienced. The moat of bad actors too numerous to count—all with motivations that could doom his mission’s objective. 
Even worse, the shadowy group he represents operates without a thread of humanity. With little time and less leverage, Jack traverses a geopolitical mine field while running straight into a den of snakes. But it’s the venom of one that could thwart the mission and destroy his life forever."
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2 Never Say Die Never Say Die
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2022

"A SPY IS BORN...
The mission is clear.
A secret emerges, the plot implodes…
Will Jack survive his greatest fear?
From Lyon to Cairo and back again, Jack Whitfield exposes a conspiracy that could topple a government and ignite a new war in the Mideast. 
But it's the actions of the enigmatic organization he works for that could end Jack's life today."
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3 Now Or Never Now Or Never
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2023

"The mission: blackmail four international hi-tech influencers. Seedy, but no killing. Jack will do anything for his daughter not to lose her last parent.
But in almost no time, Jack's universe starts to crack…
Out of nowhere, a rival terrorist organization blows up the entire mission. One assassin—an old adversary—has Jack in his sights. But if Jack can somehow escape, can he play spectator as two clandestine groups destroy each other?
Not on his life."
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4 Never Again Never Again
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2023

"Something or someone has created havoc in eastern Europe. A manhunt begins, and all parties—legal and not—are after Jack Whitfield for international crimes he did not commit. Is it all just a setup? But for what purpose?
Jack and his new partner race through the Polish countryside, searching for a way out. The list of pursuers is endless and deadly: police, special land forces. the ABW, and a woman with very special skills. With everything to lose, Jack must take extreme measures. But will it work?"
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5 The Enemy Within The Enemy Within
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2023

"A bomb rips through a market in Vila do Conde, Portugal, killing and maiming dozens. Days later, another bomb explodes at an outdoor orchestra performance in London. As the new leader of a team of covert spies, Jack and his top operative search not just for Apollo—the world’s deadliest terrorist since Carlos the Jackal—but his principal sponsor. The terror strikes continue across Europe, and Jack and his squad are more than one step behind—they can't pinpoint the motive, let alone stop the carnage."
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6 The Hanged Man The Hanged Man
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2023

"A Mexican drug cartel flexes its muscle by murdering a popular mayor—and the thundering impact is felt almost six thousand miles away in western Africa. Jack and his squad of covert operatives straddle two continents to hunt down two parasites who kill their people for their own greed. They soon learn the scope and scale of the depravity... And it’s unimaginable. Even worse, the clock is ticking. Partnering with a young local, Jack must overcome insurmountable odds to stop Boko Haram terrorists from the most destructive event ever in Africa. Who won't survive?"
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7 The Conductor The Conductor
Written by John W. Mefford
Copyright: 2023

"Determined to piece together the puzzle of a mysterious death, Jack is forced to take on a partner. Does she have a hidden motivation? Another seemingly random person is murdered, this time at The Mall in Washington, DC. Jack digs to learn the cause of death: Novichok poisoning—the same that almost killed Russia opposition leader Alexei Navalny. From Washington, DC to Moscow and then on to France, Jack feverishly searches for the enigmatic figures behind the murders."
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MY COMMENTS

There are a fair number of questions about the character and the group controlling him and why him and such. Maybe some of that gets answered deeper into the series than I went. I freely admit that I did not go that deep as the author committed one of my biggest pet peeves in the first page and though I tried to get past it, I must not have tried very hard because I failed and I did not care that I failed.

The peeve? Hey, we really, really want you to do something for us so to get you to do it we are going to kill your spouse and make sure the evidence points to you being the killer. That is so ... well, stupid comes to mind.

Then we are going to kidnap your daughter and threatened horrible things to her if you do not play ball. Never mind the question of 'if you killed your spouse and left her body in the living room to be immediately found, what happened to the daughter?

Of course, I peeked at the second book and saw that after the character pulled off a miracle and succeeded, the group say, hey we got another mission for you and if you don't do it ...

Oh, another pet peeve - let's train an agent so well that he can go after anyone at any time and take that target out ... and then make that agent absolutely hate us. No way he's going to come after us!

How is the writing and the plotting and the pacing? I didn't notice.

GRADE

My Grade: C

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