Full Name: Shaw Whitaker
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Elliott Cannon
Time Span: 1973 - 1980

       Shaw Whitaker is an agent for the British Secret Service.
       At least, he is at the start of the three-book series about him. He is considered to be the fair-haired child, or teacher’s pet, of Sir Richard Ordish, a man of considerable authority in British Intelligence. Ordish is the Coordinator of the British Secret Services and as such maintains an oversight position with MI-5, MI-6 and Special Branch. This gives this man, known to those under him as Tricky Dicky, a great deal of power.
       After several years in the field, all working in highly dangerous and potentially explosive situations and bringing each assignment to a satisfactory conclusion, he was, as the first book begins, deciding that he had had enough of the risk-taking and that a normal life would be far preferable.
       When one is the boss’s top agent, though, it is hard to break away, as the title of the first book would indicate. This is especially true when one’s boss is as duplicitous and crafty as Ordish and there are few in the world more devious than Dickey.
       The books that Whitaker is in span an interesting period of the man’s career although not many years separate them. In the first book, Whitaker is falling in love and deciding that a life outside the service is what he really wants, even if it is not what his boss will tolerate. In the second, he is on the run and trying everything he can to stay away and stay alive but that is proving harder and harder. In the third, he is given a chance to start a new life in a new country under a new name, Michael Fox, but he is still Whitaker in his mind and is still as good an agent as he ever was.

       Whitaker’s adventures are part of a series of books dealing with three different agents of Ordish. The other two are Jeffery Steele and Guy Fosse. He is mentioned in the first book of both men, shares the stage with them in his middle book, and works with Fosse under his new alias in the third.
       A couple of items that get revealed in all these books is that Ordish is really a rotten person for whom to work and Whitaker is really quite good at his job. He makes his share of mistakes but he is very capable of fixing things and very good at staying alive.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1973
Last Appearance:1980

1 Breakaway Breakaway
Written by Elliott Cannon
Copyright: 1973

Though still fairly young, Shaw Whitaker decides he is tired of the clandestine world and looking for a way out until he falls in love with a Russian girl and now needs a way out for both.

2 The Edge Of Hate The Edge Of Hate
Written by Elliott Cannon
Copyright: 1979

His dreams for a peaceful life prove false and Whitaker and his family must go on the run. Tasked with finding him before the enemy eliminates him is his old colleague, Steele. Fosse is also involved.

3 The V2 Virus The V2 Virus
Written by Elliott Cannon
Copyright: 1980

An odd looking pair of men are engaged in even odder activity as they kidnap three women on Fiji and force a pilot to fly them to a mysterious island. That is when both Shaw Whitaker and Guy Fosse are brought in.


       If I had to work for someone like Trickey Dickey, I would be as determined as Shaw Whitaker to quit as he is. The author was very good at presenting an agency boss that is really an s.o.b. to work for. He is not as good maintaining continuity on his characters, though.
       The Whitaker from the first book is quite a bit different than the Whitaker in the second and in the third he is not only different again, he has the decency to call himself something else. I never got the feeling that I had an idea of who Whitaker really was and that detracted from the enjoyment.
       These books were written in the 70's but they have a feel of the late 50's about them, much as though they were written by James Hadley Chase during his heydey, though not quite as well. There certainly is nothing that makes the reader wish there had been more.


My Grade: C+

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