Saturday, December 27, 2008

Secret agents featured in series: 5 best

Jeffrey T. Richelson, author of A Century of Spies and Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America's Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad, named a five best list of books for the Wall Street Journal. His subject: secret agents featured in series.

One title on the list:
by Ian Fleming
Macmillan, 1955

A little-appreciated aspect of Ian Fleming's James Bond series is that many of the books are mysteries as well as adventures -- and "Moonraker" is a wonderful mystery as well as a standard Bond tale of good versus evil. As the story progresses, the reader knows who the villain is but not what evil he has in mind. The story begins when Bond is asked by "M," the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, to undertake a personal mission: to determine whether a member of M's club is cheating at cards. The suspected cheat is Hugo Drax, a mysterious millionaire, who is ostensibly financing an advanced ballistic missile for the defense of Britain, his adopted country. A card-cheating scandal might do more damage than simply ruining his reputation. Gradually we learn who Drax really is and where his loyalties really lie. His terrible plans for the residents of London are also revealed. But 007's courage and resourcefulness guarantee that those plans are never realized.
Read about Number One on Richelson's list.

--Marshal Zeringue