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Spy fiction Writers


Spies WW2-1965

Spies and Spy Literature World War II to 1965

Ashenden (1928) by Somerset Maugham is one of the grandfathers of the spy fiction genre. In reality, it's not really a novel, but eight short stories featuring ASHEDEN, a novelist-secret agent during WWI. Each story is unique, some focusing on the violence and duplicity of the secret world

 

Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler - (1938) - JOSEF VADASSY
"In a French village near the Riviera, on the eve of World War II, mild-mannered teacher JOSEF VADASSY stops to pick up his vacation photos. Before he can admire the fruits of his favorite hobby, he is promptly arrested for espionage. It seems VADASSY captured some secret battlements on film without knowing it. Reluctant at first, the young sleuth gets carried away in his role as master spy and causes his police chief trouble.

Atomsk  (1949) Carmichael Smith   Atomsk begins not long after World War II, with the American military in occupied Japan concerned about a very secret Russian city in Siberia. General Coppersmith asks MAJOR MICHAEL DUGAN, "the greatest spy in the world," to help.

 

Secret Ministry (1951) - Desmond  (JOHNNY FEDORA.)  Some fifty years ago, Desmond Cory, with a series of thrillers, helped give rise to one of Britain’s most popular fictional genres – the 20th Century “Spy Novel.”
Johnny Fedora, who became known as "the thinking man's James Bond,” had his first assignment as part of a team of “seasoned assassins,” that are called together to eliminate Gestapo men who are hiding in London, wreaking havoc and murder.

Assignment to Danger – (1955) – by Edward S. Aaron - It was the tough agent's toughest assignment. In fictional CIA agent SAM DURELL'S deadly race against time, this girl was his only clue to the missing man.  CIA agent, SAM DURRELL, is the protagonist for all of the stories in the series – all of which started with the word “Assignment.”

The Removers (1961) - Donald Hamilton  This is a spy novel featuring Hamilton’s creation, counter-agent and assassin, MATT HELM, who was born in the later period of the golden age of spy fiction, which started on the eve of WWII and ended in the mid-1960.  HELM was the hero of 27 novels.

Death Of A Citizen (1960)); The Wrecking Crew (1960); The Silencers (1962);Murderer's Row (1962);The Ambushers (1963);The Shadowers (1964)

 

The Ipcress File (1962) Len Deighton (HARRY PALMER) burst into the scene as an
antidote to the James Bond films. HARRY PALMER was a British spy who had a working-class accent and horn-rimmed glasses and above all really didn't want to be a spy in the first place.  The story centers on Harry, an intelligence agent who is assigned the job of investigating worries over British security. As his investigation advances, he is forced into unraveling the IPCRESS FILE, a task that draws him into a world of intrigue, double-dealing and murder.

 

The Satan Bug by Alistair MacLean (1962)
Someone has broken into England's top-secret biological research lab, and made off with a number of vials of deadly germs, including the most lethal of biological weapons, the Satan Bug. PIERRE CAVELL, former head of security at the lab, is the prime suspect until he clears himself, at which point he takes over the investigation into the break-in.

 

From Russia with Loveby Ian Fleming (1963)
In From Russia With Love, the bad guys don't want to take over the world. They want something more mundane -- a Russian decoding device. JAMES BOND’S latest mission takes him to Istanbul to retrieve a top-secret Russian decoding machine. His efforts are thwarted when he gets romantically distracted by a sexy Russian double agent and is tracked by a lovely assassin with switchblade shoes, and by a crazed killer who clashes with Bond aboard the Orient Express.

 

The Ambushers by Donald Hamilton (1963)
Secret agent MATT HELM is recruited to locate a hijacked American spacecraft but he has his hands full when he comes up against double-agent Francesca Madeiros, who's as curvaceous as she is criminal.

 

The Venetian Affair (1963) – Helen Macinnes ( a Glasgow-born author)  (BILL FENNER) The plot is about a former CIA man, BILL FENNER, now a downbeat, loner journalist, who is sent to Venice to investigate the schock murder-suicide in Vienna.  An American diplomat exploded a bomb at a peace conference, killing himself and all the attendees.

 

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré (1963)
 A Cold War spy novel famous for its intricate plot and its portrait of the West's espionage methods as inconsistent with Western values. as protagonist ALEC LEAMAS, British secret agent . In the early 1960s British Agent ALEC LEAMAS is assigned control of undercover double agents working out of the wall that divides Berlin. His job is simple - keep everyone under his watch safe while infiltrating his men.  However, somehow the East Germans are beginning to find and assassinate his spies.

The Looking Glass War by John le Carré (1965)The Looking Glass War is a spy novel about a British Intelligence agency, known as THE DEPARTMENT and its attempts to infiltrate an agent to East Germany.

 

Our Man in Havana by Graham Green (1959) - Our Man in Havana is an espionage thriller, a penetrating character study, and a political satire that still resonates today. Conceived as one of Graham Greene's "entertainments," it tells of MI6's man in Havana, WORMOLD, a former vacuum-cleaner salesman turned reluctant secret agent out of economic necessity. To keep his job, he files bogus reports based on Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare and dreams up military installations from vacuum-cleaner designs. Then his stories start coming disturbingly true.

 

The Quiller Memorandum - Adam Hall (1965) QUILLER – This novel won an Edgar Award for best novel in 1966.  In this first of 19 spy thrillers, secret agent QUILLER uncovers a plt in Berlin to revive Nazi Germany.

 

 

 

 

Spies, spying, and espionage will always have a devoted following and will probably intrigue us forever.

Ellis Goodman

 

Ellis M. Goodman was born in England and moved to the United States in 1982. He was educated at Brighton College Sussex, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and is the former Chairman and CEO of a major US Beverage Alcohol producer, importer and distributor. Ellis M. Goodman is the author of a number of magazine articles on the US Beverage Alcohol Industry, and the business book, Corona: The Inside Story of America's #1 Imported Beer.He serves on a number of civil, educational, and cultural boards in Chicago; and, in 1996, was invested as a Commander of the British Empire by HM Majesty Queen Elizabeth for services to British exports. He and his wife, Gillian, live in Glencoe, Illinois.

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