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Posts Tagged ‘espionage’

Peter Haining – The Hero

Posted by demonik on June 1, 2009

Peter Haining [Terry Harknett] – The Hero (New English Library, 1975).

haininghero

Blurb:

The place and the threat is China. The weapon is nuclear and deadly. In the secret organizations that operate behind every government the fear was how to eliminate the weapon without shattering the balance of power between East and West.

Richard Soulgrove is the man chosen for the mission. Aged 31, shy, anonymous, undistinguished in any field except that he can speak Chinese. He is taken from his peaceful existence as a civil servant and thrust into a long and dangerous assignment. An assignment where he has to learn to play the Hero. To develop the capacity for killing, and to learn how to live with the shadow of constant fear and imminent death.

It could fall to any one of us to play the Hero, to learn to take the Hero’s fate.

Less horror credentials than even Boot-Boys, included here purely on the strength of it being written by Peter Haining ….. even though it wasn’t!

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Gerard de Villiars – SAS: Black Magic In New York

Posted by demonik on May 21, 2009

Gerard de Villiars – SAS: Black Magic In New York (NEL, 1970) [Translated by Nicholas Leonard]

Black Magic in New York

Black Magic in New York

Behind the dazzling, frantic world of New York’s discotheques and penthouse bedrooms, a group of black magicians are beginning their dark ritual. The pentagram’s are drawn and the right spells cast. They are divining who His Serene Highness Prince Malko Linge really is.

Special Agent Malko claims he’s one of the CIA’s top men; Others say he was – and maybe still is – one of Heinrich Himmler’s SS boys.

Between the slander and the truth, lies the lovely young millionairess Sabrina. And she knows Malko more intimately than anyone …

BLACK MAGIC IN NEW YORK is the third in the SAS series of bestseIling spy thrillers, whose film and TV rights have been bought by the Harold Robbins Company. Other titles published by New English Library are SAS VERSUS THE CIA and WEST OF JERUSALEM

Thanks to Dave [H. P. Saucecraft] for the cover scan and blurb!

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Victor Jones – Monument Of Terror

Posted by demonik on October 6, 2007

Victor Jones – Monument Of Terror (Nel, Jan. 1971: originally Lyle Stuart, 1968)

Suddenly Stephen Cooper, dedicated scientist and upright British citizen, was a man on the run, fleeing through the Black Forest with a woman he scarcely knew, seeking a mysterious sanctuary the peasants called “The Monument Of Terror”.

There was a time when nothing much ever happened to him. But then he discovered that dead body in his kitchen. Immediately, Detective-Inspector Tregoran was after him for murder, and Stephen became the target of a chilling, sinister plot that threatened worse than murder.

Author Victor Jones has written a first-rate espionage thriller that spins new webs of intimacy and intrigue, intertwining the latest methods of murder and mind-control with the old, haunting monuments of post-war Europe.

It’s the phrase “espionage thriller” that troubles me. I hope this isn’t gonna be one of those novels that dresses itself up in horror trappings only to be revealed as a spy versus spy yarn. Not much has happened as yet, although London has had a good look in with namechecks for Victoria Station, Earls Court and … Ruislip, where he’s employed at the National Institute Of Bacteriology. He’s being aggressively head-hunted by a German company but he’s turned them down because he’s never forgiven the Nazi’s over his mum’s death. His boss, Oscar Grossfield lost his entire family at Auschwitz but he advises Stephen not to let sentiment get in the way of a huge career opportunity. He does seem suspiciously keen for him to accept the position. Also, his girlfriend Ingrid (a German!) has failed to return from a routine visit to her guardian in Mainz (Germany again!). I think it’s safe to predict that Stephen will be hauling his ass out to the GDR sooner rather than later.

As is obvious from the first, somebody is trying to set Stephen Cooper up. Tregoran gloatingly informs him that the mutilated body of a woman who may or may not be Ingrid has been dredged from the Thames and when the aforementioned Johnnie is strangled in their kitchen, Cooper, by now a wanted man, decides to confide in his boss and father figure Grossfield. Grossfield has the answer. His prodigy should accept the job with NBUAG in Germany! You get the impression that this would have been his advice if Stephen had approached him about a veruca. Anyhow, Grossfield smooths the way with the Germans, gives him a forged passport and smuggles him out of the country. In France he teams up with Lore Strich, the presumed dead Ingrid’s flatmate, and the pair sneak across the border into her homeland. Germany!

Part 2.

Schloss Hohenstein is hidden away in the Black Forest. Among local villagers it has an evil reputation on account of some cruel medieval baron who their ancestors ate. Known locally as “Schreckendenkmal” (‘The Monument Of Terror’) the old castle is the ideal location for the NBUAG research centre where Cooper is given his own laboratory. It doesn’t take him long to figure that General Direktor Grober and the boys are Nazi’s and their business is germ warfare. When Cooper confronts the Direktor, he is given a choice: to carry on working for them, or be turned over to the police. Cooper goes on the run instead. Captured, the extent of the conspiracy is made brutally apparent, and now the Nazi’s realise he will never help them, they resort to plan B: Brain transplant fun!

****

If you want a speed read, this will do the job just so, but I have a few reservations about recommending it as a MUST HAVE. The conspirator in chief might just as well be wearing a sandwich board with “IT’S ME” written front and back and I could double-guess everything that was going to happen ten pages before they did. A brainier person probably wouldn’t even need to read any of it and still write you a plot synopsis. Also, the thing is light on gory deaths. Vic proves he can do it when he has a mind, and I’d like to have seen him make more of this admirable talent.

See also: Vault’s Monument Of Terror thread

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