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JACKSON

jackson_bk_the_secret_agent jackson_bk_the_secret_service
 
Full Name: Jackson
Nationality: South African
Organization: Secret Service
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Rafe McGregor
Time Span: 2006 - 2007

ABOUT THE SERIES

Jackson is a freelance agent.

Not really but then again a one or two word description is not coming to me.

When we first meet him, he is working for SO12 which apparently is some designation for a South African Secret Service. We are told that though he is an operative in good standing with them, he holds British citizenship. It is likely therefore that it is a dual-citizenship then that we are talking about. It also seems a bit a of a moot point as he is that southern African nation at the beginning of the first recorded adventure and then no more as he is ordered on a mission that will take him out of that country back to England and from there all sorts of places except South Africa. Plus he seems to be asked to do these chores for the British Special Branch and for the Canadian Intelligence community and for the CIA - it gets a wee bit confusing.

Jackson thinks of himself as an Intelligence officer trained to get classified information from others in a clandestine manner; he does not consider his line of work to be eliminations and yet that is all we find him doing; I do not know what to make of that. However he might peg his line of work, when it comes to killing, he is extremely good at it; he is efficient and quick and repeatedly successful.

He also has paid for his reputation in two ways. The first is visible in a very noticeable scar on his face, thick and white running "from his left eye down the side of his cheek almost to his mouth"; it has caused him to "grow out of the habit of smiling". The second is internal as he tells us in one instance that "it hadn't even occurred to him not to kill [his target]. Had he left his morals behind when he'd joined the Secret Service, or had it been before that, in his previous life? He couldn't remember."

At one point (it is a bit confusing to me) Jackson becomes married to Jennifer Lynley, a woman that I would definitely not want to cross but whom I would like to have as a partner; she is very efficient herself and very daunting.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2007

The three books out by Rafe McGregor (that I know about) all start with "The Secret ...". Two of them deal with Jackson. One, The Secret Policeman, according to its description, does not. However, since the two that do are more than a bit confusing about the identity of Jackson and his history, I make no bets.

Also, the copyright dates for the two shown below are accurate as far as they are printed inside the books. The collection of short stories looks like it should be listed second but the stories happen before the full length book and are referenced in that book so ...


1 The Secret Agent The Secret Agent
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2008

"Two days after September 11, 2001, an intelligence officer from the South African Secret Service arrived in Washington, D.C. Three months later he was responsible for the arrest of Ricard Reid, the notorious British al-Qaeda operative ... A series of short stories follow secret agent Jackson from Boston to Oxford, Quebec City, the Italian Alps, and his final and most deadly mission four months after his premature retirement.
The five stories are:
Clockwork
Contre Temps
Fall Guy
The Secret Agent
Hit and Miss

2 The Secret Service The Secret Service
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2006

"The CIA want retired Secret Service agent Jackson back on a mission: to foil Operation Condor, a top secret plan conceived by the East German security police in the Cold War, and now in the hands of al-Qaeda. But he finds that he is being used as the bait in a trap. His only chance of escape is to discover who passed the plan to al-Qaeda. And he suspects that the answer lies in the Caribbean island of Barbados.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:2007
Last Appearance:2007

These tales are all combined in one volume but are definitely separate stories which likely follow sequentially but with decided starts and ends.


1 Clockwork Clockwork
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2007

Collected in the book The Secret Agent.
His covername for this assignment is Daniel, Jackson is ordered to head to Berlin to find and eliminate a South African citizen who had embezzled a sizable amount and then fled. Jackson is curious why he was deemed an elimination target and why was he the one ordered to do it.

2 Contre Temps Contre Temps
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2007

Collected in the book The Secret Agent.
His covername for this assignment is Charter. Jackson is given as his target a former policeman who had betrayed his service and joined a biker gang only to now be wanting to be brought back in. Unfortunately for the target, what he knew was things they did not want anyone to know, hence the assignment for Charter/Jackson.

3 Fall Guy Fall Guy
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2007

Collected in the book The Secret Agent.
His covername for this assignment is Creek. The mission on behalf of the CIA was simple: book into the ski resort, find the man named Brooks, and then kill him. Oh, try to get out alive and you have to eliminate the target in the next couple of days or very bad things will happen.

4 The Secret Agent The Secret Agent
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2007

Collected in the book The Secret Agent.
His covername for this assignment is Wilke. Taking on the militia known as the Brigade, an IRA offshoot financing their operations by robbing armored cars, is the job Jackson is given.

5 Hit And Miss Hit And Miss
Written by Rafe McGregor
Copyright: 2007

Collected in the book The Secret Agent.
Recovering from near fatal wounds from his last mission, Jackson is not surprised to learn that Al Qaeda has a sizeable bounty on his head. 

MY COMMENTS

For skill at writing action adventures with a lot of clandestine skullduggery involved, I applaud the author, Rafe McGregor. Each of the tales are filled to the brim with tons of action and mayhem.

For skill at letting the reader (okay, me!) know who the chap really is at any given time, especially in the set of short stories, I was lost more than once. If it had not been for the scar on the fellow's face, I would have thought more than twice whether Person A was really Jackson or not. Now for the enjoyment of any particular part, it really did not matter, but for continuity sake, yep.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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