Sunday, January 22, 2012

Five books on secret agents featured in series

Jeffrey T. Richelson is the author of several books on intelligence, including Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America's Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad and Spying on the Bomb. He is currently a Senior Fellow with the National Security Archive.

In 2008 he named a five best list of books on secret agents featured in series for the Wall Street Journal, including:
The Quiller Memorandum
by Adam Hall

The name is Quiller, just Quiller: not a first name, not a last name, just a code name. The British agent was introduced with "The Quiller Memorandum" and went on to appear in 18 more novels by Adam Hall, one of several pen-names employed by novelist Elleston Trevor. Among the pleasures of the series is the fully realized world of The Bureau, Quiller's secretive employer. But it is Quiller who holds our interest and never lets go. In contrast to James Bond, Quiller does not have a license to kill -- nor does he want one. He doesn't even carry a gun. In "Memorandum," he is sent to Berlin to meet with Pol, his director in the field. Quiller is a "ferret" who burrows into enemy organizations and then neutralizes them. In this case, Pol wants him to penetrate a secret neo-Nazi organization in Berlin. In the 1960s, the loose ends of the Third Reich still presented thriller writers -- and their rapt readers -- with compelling sources of villainy.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue