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ANTHONY BRANDON

Full Name: Anthony Brandon
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation: Agent

Creator:Bryan Peters
Actual Time Span: 1959-1963
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Anthony Brandon is an agent for British Intelligence.
       Very much a member of the old school, he is willing to travel to wherever Her Majesty's government takes him to keep what is left of the Empire strong. With the series taking place in the mid-to-late 50's, Brandon has been an agent since the Second World War, during which he worked behind the lines. Now as middle age is approaching, he has seen more and done more than most and has the scars to prove it, especially one long sliver on his side running the length of his torso.
       He is of medium height with a strong but not muscle-bound physique. "His step was light and springy, and his body gave the impression of an agile toughness, which indicated splendid physical condition." This state was despite a fondness for alcohol and smoking nearly three packs of Pall Malls a day.
       He talks little about himself but his customs seem straightforward. He puts his life on the line, gets the job done, and then returns from some dark alley home or steaming jungle or arid desert to the comforts of home. He enjoys the good food, entertaining casinos, and beautiful women. And then after a month or so, the food is not as appealing, the cards and dice not so kind, and the women more of a drag, indicating it is time again to put his life on the line. At this point he grabs the files that have been accumulating on his desk to bone up on what is happening in the Intelligence field. He also spends considerable time on the practice range and in the gym getting his body back into the shape it has to be to hope to survive in the field. Each time, though, it gets a bit harder than the last.
       The section that Brandon works for is run by a man named Davidson, nicknamed the Old Man, a largely humorless man who runs the Department with determination and with severe protectiveness. His agents were his weapons and he made sure they stayed sharp and that nothing interfered with them. If they needed something, they got it but that was because he demanded that when the mission called for it, they would give their all.
       Brandon's area of expertise is the Far East. While he has done missions in Europe and the Middle East, he is out of his element and not as effective. "From Malaysia eastwards it was different. That was his own piece of the jungle. He knew it, and its human animals and the languages they spoke."

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1959
Last Appearance:1963

1 Hong Kong Kill Hong Kong Kill      written by Bryan Peters     copyright 1959
The death in Hong Kong of a fellow agent, and close friend of Anthony Brandon, lends proof that the rumors of a Red Chinese hit squad he was investigating were likely true. Verifying it will mean Brandon becomes their next target.

2 The Big H The Big H      written by Bryan Peters     copyright 1963
Anthony Brandon is sent to America to take part in a joint operation when it is learned that the Soviet Red Army was planning an operation to embarrass the USAF in the eyes of NATO.

MY COMMENTS

       Other than wishing the author had given us a better understanding of Brandon's history, I found these two books to be excellent spy craft novels. They are gritty, hard-boiled, no frills spy noir and should appeal to those who like their spies in trenchcoats, not tuxedoes. The character of Anthony Brandon is something that comes out over time and it is fun to learn him on the go.
       Oddly for a series that claims the agent is best used in the Far East, only one mission takes place there with the other being in America. Seeing the hard-as-nails Brit agent meet the opinionated Yanks, though, was quite fun.

GRADE

My Grade:   B+


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