said_jonah_bk_loyal said_jonah_bk_rage
Full Name: Jonah Said
Nationality: British
Organization: The Department
Occupation Agent

Creator: Simon Conway
Time Span: 2006 - 2010


Jonah Said is an agent with the Department.

That is the only name I have found for the small agency, part of the British Intelligence community. What exactly its mandate is remains an interesting secret but it seems to be given some very unpleasant and nigh-onto impossible tasks. It is run by General Monteith, "a squat terrier of a man" known for his personal "formidable religious conviction" and a tendency to overdramatize as in the case of Said when he did not do as Monteith wanted and was pronounced by that man as having gone "over to the dark side". Even more so when he referred to Said as "his bluntest instrument - an unstoppable force and an indestructible object".

Said does not talk about himself very much and even less to others about his work but at one point he does a bit of soul-searching concerning his vocation when he stated, "Yes, I'm a spook: separate from others, a secret warrior with a streak of rebellious obedience; my activities governed by the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. My earliest childhood memories, ones that pre-date the spider hunting that logically followed, are of long afternoons listening to my sisters' calls as they searched for me - watching from hiding places and refusing to be found - relishing the power that concealment brings. I've done it all since, all the courses run by the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre at Chicksands - close observation, conduct after capture and resistance to interrogation - and while I'd rather believe that it's possible to live a life without deception and lies, a life without concealment, the fact is I'm a professional deceiver."

He is "the polyglot son of a Palestinian scientist and a black English barrister", the latter being his mother who would go on to such prominence that she would be named a Peer and take her place in the House of Lords. Said remains on good relations with her but would never consider using her for his advancement.

In fact, getting ahead is never something Said considers with regards to his line of work, shown by the fact that at one point he most definitely throws it all away to be with the woman he loved and spend more time with his young daughter from a previous marriage and to write a memoir. That was all at the end the first recorded adventure and the second has him back working for Monteith.

Said has an interesting feature that decidedly identifies him - he has one glass eye. He was deprived of his original orb in a nasty explosion while serving the British Army during fighting in the Balkans in the 90s. We know this about him because in that first adventure, he is sent off on his mission without it, having misplaced it "along with the contents of my stomach in the back of a black cab .. in Edinburgh a few hours before my flight". When some time later it is shipped to him, he slips it in, blinks twice, and proclaims, "I can see!"

Good Lines:
- A mantra of the Department, and a truism in all Intelligence work: "the more you pay someone the more you can rely upon them to tell you what you want to hear".


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2010

1 Rage Rage
Written by Simon Conway
Copyright: 2006

"Jonah Said is a loner and a troublemaker, shipped off by the British army to work with the UN in the buffer zone between Kuwait and Iraq, because they want him out of harm's way. Big mistake. From the minute he lands, Jonah becomes drawn into a deadly spiral of corruption and conspiracy involving Russians, Americans, Arabs and Brits - and none of them tells the truth. And the truth is more dangerous than even Jonah can imagine."
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2 A Loyal Spy A Loyal Spy
Written by Simon Conway
Copyright: 2010

"The last time Jonah saw Nor ed'Din, he was lying face down in a pool of icy water in the Khyber Pass. For many years, Jonah had been under the impression that he'd killed him there.
Jonah: an undercover operative for one of Britain's most secret agencies
Nor: the agent he befriended, recruited, then left for dead
Miranda: the woman he thought he loved enough to give up everything for
How far can loyalty be stretched before it reaches a limit? Millions of lives depend on the answer, as a twisting road of betrayal and revenge leads from the mountains of Afghanistan to the heart of London . . . and a ticking bomb."
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It would be easy to get the wrong idea about this series and I think with my final comments above concerning the glass eye, I help cause confusion.

First, regarding my part in the matter - while that business with the missing eye might sound like a skit from a comedy routine, trust me when I say it is not. This series has a few humorous parts to it - considering Said's droll wit it would have to - but comedy is never ever a word you would accurately apply to it.

Second, the cover for the first adventure, showing Said all decked out in combat gear, it would be easy to think of this as a combat adventure and while there are several incidents of battle depicted, it is not - IMHO - at all a war story.

Third, a blurb I read about that first tale called it "Apocalypse Now meets The Maltese Falcon". I am not sure how I would interpret that.

What this two-book series is can best be described in two words - "damn good". 


My Grade: A


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