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Full Name: Jonathon Payne and David Jones
Nationality: American
Organization: MANIACs
Occupation Adventurer

Creator: Chris Kuzneski
Time Span: 2002 - 2018


Jonathon Payne and David Jones are two former members of the MANIACs.

The acronym stands for Marine, Army, Navy, Intelligence, Air Force, and Coast Guard and is used to denote a highly secret unit in the military consisting of the best Special Forces personnel from each branch of the Armed Services.

During their numerous years with that unit, they were involved in an impressive number of black-ops missions. They went places they weren't wanted, brought out people who couldn't leave, eliminated people who were proving troublesome, and accomplished assignments the government needed done but couldn't admit doing.

Payne and Jones are best of friends, closer than brothers. They came from different worlds growing up, Payne having had money and Jones not enjoying the same. Payne was white while Jones was black. Their different backgrounds and races did not matter a bit to these two adventure-loving soldiers.

They would probably still be in the service still doing the impossible missions that were thrown at them except that Payne's grandfather, who raised him, died and left him controlling interest in Payne Industries as well as a considerable fortune. Not wanting to dishonor his legacy, Payne resigned from the military to take the CEO position, though he was smart enough to realize that owning did not equal knowing so he usually let those who knew the business run the day-to-day.

Jones had often talked of one day getting a private investigator's license and running his own one-man agency. Payne, wanting to stay close to his best friend, offered to finance its start and to let him run it out of the large office building Payne owns.

Both now have day jobs but neither is as fulfilling as the work they did in the service so both are more than willing to go into action when called for extracurricular activity. Since


Number of Books:9
First Appearance:2002
Last Appearance:2018

1 The Plantation The Plantation
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2002

People were being selectively kidnapped from various parts of the country, all without much notice. When the next victim was the girlfriend of Payne, he and Jones took considerable notice. That notice would take them to New Orleans and then to Africa.
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2 Sign Of The Cross Sign Of The Cross
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2006

The first death of a priest, from hanging on a cross, was noteworthy. Two more days later shows a horrible plot underway. Payne and Jones learned of those while working, under pressure, for the CIA to find an archaeologist whose discovery makes him the most sought man in Europe.
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3 Sword Of God Sword Of God
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2007

In an underground bunker, a highly sought terrorist was being interrogated by experienced MANIAC soldiers. Then they were all dead, ripped into pieces. No explanation. That is when Payne and Jones are brought it, to use their experience to find out what happened to their former colleague.
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4 The Lost Throne The Lost Throne
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2008

The murder of an antiquities expert in Russia is connected to the beheadings of several monks in Greece. Jonathon Payne and David Jones don't know that at first but quickly learn how deadly their involvement has become.
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5 The Prophecy The Prophecy
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2009

Asked by an attractive woman to assist in breaking a code in an ancient message, Jonathon Payne and David Jones become mixed up in a case involving the prophecies of Nostrodamus which are having a modern day impact.
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6 The Secret Crown The Secret Crown
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2010

A friend of both Payne and Jones has learned some interesting clues into the whereabouts of the hidden treasure of Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria, said to be tremendous. He talks them into helping out a bit but a killer is willing to do anything to stop them.
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7 The Death Relic The Death Relic
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2011

When an archaeologist friend of Payne and Jones goes missing along with others while excavating in the land of the Aztecs and Mayans, the two head to that area to find out what happened.
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8 The Einstein Pursuit The Einstein Pursuit
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2013

An explosion in a lab in Sweden makes a scientist in Pittsburgh think he is in danger and he appearsl to Payne and Jones for help. Looking into it, they discover information that can revolutionize medicine's future.
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9 The Malta Escape The Malta Escape
Written by Chris Kuzneski
Copyright: 2018

Vacationing in Malta, Jonathan Payne and David Jones bump into an old friend who is on the island looking into the location of a lost Knights Hospitallers treasure. They also bump into a very angry Russian mafiya boss who wants the treasure and will kill anyone in his way.
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The first book listed in the series, The Plantation, is the first one written about Payne and Jones though it was the third one published. There are considerable differences in plot and tone between the first and the other two but the irreverent nature of the two main characters is wonderfully intact. They do not make light of the seriousness of a situation but they do use dark humor to help them get through it.

I could see why The Plantation had some trouble getting a publisher as it is uneven and illogical in parts. It is also darned good and, once you get over the unlikely events that get Payne and Jones to where the action is, you can't put it down until you find out how bad these two whup the ones needin' whuppin'. A third of the way through the book, I commented to my wife that I couldn't believe the author wanted me to believe what was going on. By two thirds, I didn't want to put it down, belief or not.

The other books are considerably more believable, even when dealing with such strange topics. The friendship of the two characters remains a constant that makes the books even more enjoyable.

I look forward to more Payne and Jones adventures.


My Grade: B+

Your Average Grade:   A+


Devang A+ 8/7/2012 8:46:45 AM

I just started reading them,they appear to be great,but immature at times.Very well written article,and aptly described :D

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