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Full Name: Jonathan Grave
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Other - Hostage Rescue

Creator: John Gilstrap
Time Span: 2009 - 2023


Jonathan Grave is a security specialist.

Running a very successful company whose primary goal was securing the offices and homes of corporate America, Grave had over the past decade made a good name for his firm, preferring to stay out of the limelight totally. This anonymity was vital for his other sideline, running a company called Security Solutions which is the main occupation he has devoted his energies towards. This second job is one of hostage rescue. If the situation is critical and local law enforcement is either not available, unwilling, untrustworthy, or in the case of several foreign assignments, the source of the problem, it is Security Solutions that gets the hush-hush call for help. His fees are not for the weak-hearted, usually starting at $250,000 plus expenses, but his success rate is laudable and his discretion absolute.

Helping him in his work is the beautiful Venice, pronounced ve-NEE-shay and regrets to those who get it wrong the second time, a woman in her late 20's who is a whiz at computers and anything electrical. Though she usually remains at the office during missions, she is vital enough with her quick mind and quicker fingers on the keyboard to give her the nickname of "Mother", a name she does not particularly like.

Joining Jonathan in the field providing pilot services for whatever craft might be needed is Boxers, a 6'5, 250 lb. behemoth who usually does not talk much but when he does, it pays to listen. Boxers and Grave have been close friends for many years and the bond is strong. Grave might be the boss but he is also a friend.

Grave was not always the character's last name. Born Jonathan Gravenow, he was raised in a mansion along the Potomac in the small town of Fisherman's Cove, the son of a very wealthy and very corrupt businessman, to the public, and crime-boss, to the informed. When his father realized that his days of freedom were coming to an end courtesy of the justice system, he passed most of his wealth to his son, a man who had very little love for the crook and absolutely no desire to continue the family business.

Turning his back on the life of crime his father had lived, Grave converted his mansion into a boarding school known as Resurrection House, offering a chance to children of incarcerated parents. If these kids had no where else to turn and would likely end up on the streets or in jail themselves, the foundation would be there. It is for the continued operations of this charity that the proceeds of Grave's clandestine activities go.

Grave is not a spy. He is a highly trained former Special Forces officer who saw action during the First Gulf War and other places but his experiences with the Intelligence community is, for him, thankfully slim. He is on a first-name basis with the female Director of the FBI, having done work for that Bureau on several occations, but he has no desire to become part of the Establishment. That world had enabled and encouraged his father to take a dark path and he is determined to not follow.

That does not mean, though, that he does not belong in this collection. Grave is willing to break a law or two himself when he is on a mission and he does not let the powerful get off anymore than he would a low-life kidnapper. Since the ultimate culprits in several of the adventures that Grave has have enjoyed positions of great power in governments, he knows intrigue.


Number of Books:15
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2023

1 No Mercy No Mercy
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2009

The job was to rescue a college student and it should have gone easier than it did but the kidnappers wanted to fight and Grave fought back. Now the police are involved and Grave discovers that the snatching of one young man was a small part in a plot that could have international ramifications.
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2 Hostage Zero Hostage Zero
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2010

Two boys are kidnapped from a school that Grave supports. One is left for dead in a field while the other is taken away. Grave is determined to get him back and to get even with the snatchers but there are secrets involved that powerful forces in the government want kept quiet.
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3 Threat Warning Threat Warning
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2011

Ordinary people are being turned into victims by assassins and it all looks random. When Grave witnesses one such attack and gives chase, he steps right in the middle of a national plot that can get him killed in many different ways.
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4 Damage Control Damage Control
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2012

The kidnappers had grabbed a bus full of teenagers on a church outing and demanded three million dollars or the teens start dying. Jonathan Grave is brought in to handle the situation but evidence mounts that someone in Washington is more intent on hiding a terrible secret than saving lives.
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5 High Treason High Treason
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2013

To keep the kidnapping of the First Lady a secret from the public, Jonathan Grave and his associates are brought in to handle the negotiations but Grave soon learns there is a lot more behind the snatching than first seemed.
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6 End Game End Game
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2014

The killing of his father, a Chechen scientist working with the US government, sends his son into hiding. Jonathan Grave is hired to find the young man and rescue him, thus also rescuing the information he has that cannot fall into enemy hands.

7 Against All Enemies Against All Enemies
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2015

When a fellow vet of Jonathan Grave is accused of killing fellow agents and selling secrets to the enemy, Grave wants to learn the truth. What he discovers turns out to be a whole lot worse than just one man-gone-bad.
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8 Friendly Fire Friendly Fire
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2016

One man chases another into a parking lot and kills him, Upon surrendering to police, he tells how years ago he had been kidnapped and tortured by the deceased and wanted revenge. He named an operator called Scorpion as his rescuer back then. Scorpion is Jonathan Grave and now he wants to help but remain anonymous.
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9 Final Target Final Target
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2017

The task is to head into the Mexican jungle to free a DEA agent held by a drug lord. Getting in was going to be a problem. Getting out was going to be hell.
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10 Scorpion Strike Scorpion Strike
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2018

A large group of very dangerous people are turning a tropical island paradise into a warzone starting with an attack on a resort facility. Unfortunately for them, staying there are Jonathan Grave and Gail Bonneville, two quite capable people who do not take kindly to their perfect getaway being disturbed.
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11 Total Mayhem Total Mayhem
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2019

Simultaneous terror attacks across the country are being conducted by former Special Forces personnel being paid by ISIS. The request for Jonathan Grave and his skilled team is to hunt them down and take them out - no subtlety needed. This is important because all the blows so far are part of a larger plan.
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12 Hellfire Hellfire
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2020

For Jonathan Grave, any hostage rescue is of great importance but this time is has become personal. The two boys who have been snatched had been on their way to his Resurrection House for protection. The boys' mother is set to testify against a drug cartel and the children were taken to keep her quiet.
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13 Stealth Attack Stealth Attack
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2021

"El Paso, Texas, is a battleground. It’s an open market for Mexican drug cartels to sell their wares. It’s also a destination for teens looking for fun. Venice Alexander’s fourteen-year-old son Roman was there on a school trip. Now, he and a fellow student have vanished without a trace. Assuming the kidnapping is retaliation for his past incursions against Mexico’s crime syndicates, Jonathan Grave leads his covert operatives to rescue their teammate’s son. But the trail Jonathan follows leads him down unexpected paths where he ends up in the crossfire of a deadly vendetta… "
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14 Lethan Game Lethan Game
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2022

"Hostage rescue expert Jonathan Grave and his fellow special-ops veteran, Boxers, are hunting in Montana when shots ring out, and they realize they’ve become the prey for assassins. In the crosshairs of unseen shooters, cut off from all communication, with the wind at a blood-freezing chill, the nightmare is just beginning. Because Jonathan and Boxers aren’t the only ones under fire."
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15 Harm's Way Harm's Way
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2023

"Twelve missionaries have been snatched in a remote area of Venezuela and are being held for ransom. The high-priority rescue mission comes as a personal plea from FBI director Irene Rivers. It also carries a Presidential demand: no international incident. Just get in and get out—with hostages who are far from cooperative, but nonetheless precious cargo.
America’s enemies hope to leverage the kidnapping into a major crisis. Fighting his way to the hostages is Jonathan’s first battle. The second is to deliver them, alive and well, to the extraction site – and let no one stand in his way."
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Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2013

1 Soft Targets Soft Targets
Written by John Gilstrap
Copyright: 2013

A prequel to the books - Mistakes by FBI agents allow a killer and child molester to walk but he is still determined to get revenge, planning to go after the lead agent's daughters. She calls upon Jonathan Grave to help save them.
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I really, truly, honestly liked Jonathan Grave. Liked reading about him, I mean. In person, he gets a tad snippy when someone questions him but then again, he is usually right. Not always, which makes him fun. As the saying goes, "success is measured by how well we implement Plan B" and Grave is exceptional at doing that. He has a small team of highly skilled associates helping him and they are as interesting as he is which is nice to see. I also enjoyed the fact that two of the main associates do not get along that well together making it seem like a real work place. They cooperate but they do not socialize.

I trust that Mr. Gilstrap will continue to give us Grave adventures and I promise that as long as he writes them and keeps them at the high quality they currently enjoy, I will be at a bookstore counter giving my money to then give my time to him to get the pleasure that I know will be there.


My Grade: A

Your Average Grade:   A


A+ 5/13/2012 3:07:11 PM

Characters are one dimensional. Story line for the main character is worth a read.

morris00 A 2020-07-06

Always a good read.solid story,great characters and plenty of action.

dbuhler A+ 2021-01-30

It is difficult to distinguish all these action guys from each other. There is a Mt. Rushmore of these characters, and if you make room for the likes of Mitch Rapp and Scott Harvath, then there should be a spot for Grave. Gilstrap always delivers a feel-good, well-paced story.

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