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Full Name: John Cross
Series Name: The Shepherd Suspense Series
Codename: Shepherd
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Former Agent

Creator: Andrew Huff
Time Span: 2019 - 2021


John Cross is a former agent with the CIA.

He had been with the Agency for a number of years as a field operative and had amassed enough of a reputation as to become almost legendary in some parts of the building. Then, as one young newbie put it, he 'got religious' and walked away. He had been offered a position with an elite covert unit inside the department but has chosen to go a different route. 

"I had an experience that changed my life. And meant I couldn't do my job the way I had been doing it. Unfortunately, that meant leaving the CIA altogether. Although they've obviously been trying to draw me back in however they can."

It was on one of those occasional draws that we meet Cross for the first time as he is sent into Jordan to rescue reporter Christine Lewis from beheading by yet another fringe group demanding something from the American President that they would never get. After a particularly harrowing trip to the rendezvous spot and then a very long return trip to Langley, Cross was in a hurry to conclude his debrief as he had another task already set for the next day.

He had a sermon to give.

After the experience that drove Cross to resign from fulltime employment with the CIA, he studied for and received accreditation to be a minister, doing the odd job for the Agency as needed. Even that infrequent foray was coming to an end, though, as he had found a new home with the Rural Grove Baptist Church. It was a good union; this small congregation could not afford to pay much and Cross was not looking to get rich, just to serve.

Unfortunately, when someone has a talent like Cross, it is hard to turn it off when people get into trouble and when someone like his old CIA boss knows how good he is, it is hard to not make just one more request.

Luckily for Cross, when he saves Lewis's life from that sword-wielding zealot, he made a life-long friend and someone to help share some of upcoming trouble.

Good Lines:
- Said by Cross concerning the adventurous life of a country minister, "Prayers of blessing over pregnant cattle can be harrowing".


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2019
Last Appearance:2021

1 A Cross to Kill A Cross to Kill
Written by Andrew Huff
Copyright: 2019

Someone had decided to make Pastor John Cross pay for the deeds he did as an agent of the CIA years before. "When a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John’s secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change."
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2 Cross Shadow Cross Shadow
Written by Andrew Huff
Copyright: 2020

When journalist Christine Lewis hears her stepbrother was arrested for murder in Texas, she calls on her recent boyfriend, Pastor John Cross, to team up with her to investigate. "With an assassin on the loose, a trusted colleague acting as a double agent, and unreliable artificial intelligence connected to mercenaries who have Cross on their hit list, these two may not get out of the Lone Star State alive."
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3 Right Shadow Right Shadow
Written by Andrew Huff
Copyright: 2021

"First he left the CIA. Then he left pastoral ministry. Now John Cross has been imprisoned in one of Great Britain's most infamous prisons. Has he reached the end of his rope? Or is this another move in a dangerous spy game? Christine Lewis, United News Network's rising star television anchor, is determined to find out. But in her pursuit of answers, Christine finds herself at the center of a cyberterrorist plot to alter the balance of power in the world."
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When John Cross gave up his CIA job to help people, I'm guessing he did not envision having to use his Agency skills in the process. That is one thing that makes this series interesting. 

There have been a small number of series before where operatives become clergy; the fact that an idea has been tried before naturally does not mean it should not be tried anew. The mark of success is if the author brings anything new to the attempt. In the case of Cross, the answer is yes so for those interested, I would tell them not to worry and to give these three adventures a try.


My Grade: B


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