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Full Name: John Darque
Codename: Chadeaux
Nationality: American
Organization: Unnamed Agency
Occupation Spymaster

Creator: Steve Burkart
Time Span: 2015 - 2022


John Darque is a spymaster.

He is the "director of a clandestine organization inside the US that had the charter of maintaining the balance of power in the world by whatever means he deemed necessary to accomplish that mission.

We get a glimpse of Darque's life many years before he would leave the field work as a trained operative and become the spymaster we know him to be. In that flashback we are taken to the Vietnam War when Darque, along with his close friend Carl, had been one especially feared pair of sniper and spotter, so hated and respected by the enemy that there was a sizable bounty on their heads. It was in that timeframe that he was given the sobriquet of 'Chadeaux' which is French for gifts but is really a play on his last name and the then popular day time gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows.

In that snippet we learn why Darque would acquire a mistrust of some members of the intelligence community when he and Carl are betrayed by a CIA agent. Carl lost his life and Darque lost a year of his life in hospital and saw the trajectory of his future change dramatically.

Now in the present, Darque would prefer to live in the secluded cabin he owned in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina with his former police K-9, Bill, and the very attractive and very deadly love of his life, Penny. Unfortunately, it seemed before very many days went by from a previous call, the phone would ring with another problem that would demand Darque's attention and he would have to leave the solitude to a commanding role, if not an active one, in another crisis that can only be resolved with the decisiveness of his team.

Good Lines:
- "Darque had never ascribed to the philosophy of 'an eye for an eye'; his had always been 'a life for an eye'.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2022

Going by the copyright dates in the copies of the ebooks that I have, the order of the books is different than the one shown below.

The order used here is based on comments about which one was the 'premiere' thriller the author penned, which was the second, and what was the third.

Of course, I could be wrong.

1 The Orchestration The Orchestration
Written by Steve Burkart
Copyright: 2015

"When covert ops director John Darque receives a mysterious package from a former adversary, he suspects the worst, but the box contains items more dangerous than even he could have imagined ... they indicate that the President-Elect of the United States, Thomas Jefferson Davis, is a mole whose rise to power has been carefully nurtured for more than 30 years as part of a Russian plot to overthrow the US government."
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2 The Master Hacker The Master Hacker
Written by Steve Burkart
Copyright: 2018

"There are hackers, and there is THE hacker ... the one who can end warfare as we know it, or start a war only she can win.
When SunHee Nham, a disaffected North Korean computer scientist working in China, decides to escape her conscription, she takes a few secrets with her. Her dream of living in freedom in the U.S. begins to prey on her mind when she thinks about the hardships under which her fellow countrymen are forced to live. After a chance meeting with John Darque, the head of a covert organization charged with maintaining the balance of power in the world, the two form a partnership to destroy a weapon system she developed for use against Western nations."
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3 The Darque Side The Darque Side
Written by Steve Burkart
Copyright: 2022

"When a four-man team of Iranian terrorists surreptitiously enters the US, the desecrated body of a US Border Patrol Agent near the US/Mexico Border is a harbinger of future events. The team's goal to attack soft targets in the nation's capital and kill as many Americans as possible, to include the President, is thwarted by John Darque and the covert organization he heads. While investigating the incidents, Darque realized he was fighting two battles, one global and one personal, that were somehow conjoined."
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That line I quoted about a life for an eye really does a good job of summing up John Darque; the man does not do forgive-and-forget. He is definitely one man I would work very hard to not annoy or worse because he will get back at you worse than you got him.

The whole reference to Dark Shadows and John Darque being nicknamed 'Chadeaux' confused me for a bit. I was stuck on the meaning of the French word - gifts - and not the pronunciation. I felt like such a doofus when it came to me. Still do, but now with a wry grin on my face.

I enjoyed this series and would not mind another.


My Grade: B+


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