SCORPION

 
Full Name: Nick Curry, aka The Scorpion
Codename: Scorpion
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Andrew Kaplan
Time Span: 1985 - 2013
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Nick Curry, aka the Scorpion, is an agent with the CIA.
       He is a contract agent which for the Agency means deniability and separation in the event of trouble. For the Scorpion, it means he is on his own and while he can call upon various stations to provide assistance, he knows better than to expect he will actually get it. In the very shadowy world that the Scorpion inhabits, everyone has a hidden agenda and cooperation has a high price.
       As with many contract agents in fiction, the Scorpion is hated or at least disliked by many in the organization because he is not a team player, is sometimes viewed as just a mercenary, and is largely uncontrollable. For his part, the Scorpion is aware that it is his neck on the chopping block, not theirs, realizes he has no retirement package awaiting him should he be lucky enough to live that long, and chafes under the fact that he is often less than what he truly needs to know all in the name of security.
       Born out of an unlikely and untenable union between a fun-loving mother and a handsome though poor oil wildcatter, Nick Curry lived with his fairly wealthy grandparents while momma partied. When she was killed in an accident, they were his only parents as dad had been forbidden to enter the homestead. At a still young age, though, dad showed up and grabbed the boy to travel with him. Their lives together were exciting and fun and very educational for the sharp and athletic boy.
       That life was cut short when a band of marauders attacked the oil drilling operation in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and killed everyone they saw. The bandits did not see young Curry. Shortly a band of nomads under the leadership of Sheikh .... came by and found the carnage and the nearly dead boy. With little to go back to, the boy accepted the offer of living with the nomads and spent the rest of his childhood with the Bedouin travelers. He learned to survive in the desert and to track and hunt and shoot with incredible accuracy. He also learned a code of honor that made him help those in need but also strike viciously at his enemies.
       Reaching adulthood, Curry knew he needed to leave the desert to return to his native land. With considerable sadness, he said his goodbyes and traveled back to the States where he entered college. Soon the draft would come and pull him to the jungles of Vietnam where his fighting skills were honed even more by different people with different ways to kill. He took to all of them with uncanny adeptness.
       After his service, the chance to return to his real home, the arid heat of the Middle East was presented by the Agency who wanted to make use of his awesome talents at killing and surviving. He left behind his old identity of Nick Curry for the obscurity of the codename Scorpion, one originally given him as a nickname by his adopted Bedouin father. Soon that term of endearment became the name whispered in the alleys of Riyadh, Cairo, Beirut, and others as belonging to a man deserving of fear.

BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1985
Last Appearance:2013

1 Scorpion Scorpion
Written by Andrew Kaplan
Copyright: 1985

Wanting to get rid of Scorpion for good, the Kremlin arranged the kidnapping and rape of a Congressman's daughter as the first step, knowing that Scorpiod would not hesitate to come after them.

2 Scorpion Betrayal Scorpion Betrayal
Written by Andrew Kaplan
Copyright: 2012

The murder of the top man of Egypt's Internal Security department by a 'faceless' killer prompts the CIA to turn to their best assassin believing it takes one to catch one. Scorpion, thinking himself retired, is that man. He does not want the job but he wants even less the betrayal that will come his way.

3 Scorpion Winter Scorpion Winter
Written by Andrew Kaplan
Copyright: 2012

Scorpion leaves the arid Middle East he knows so well when a contract takes him to the frigid region of Siberia in search of a stolen artifact and a killer. He is working with a beautiful woman to prevent the assassination of a Ukrainian politician which could easily set off a major war.

4 Scorpion Deception Scorpion Deception
Written by Andrew Kaplan
Copyright: 2013

The invasion of the US embassy in Switzerland by a hit squad results in stolen classified data and the deaths of everyone. With Congress screaming for action, the CIA asks the Scorpion to get involved but he is reluctant until he learns his name is in the stolen info. To get it back he must go up against a killer as lethal as he.

MY COMMENTS

       I first read the initial book in the series a couple of years after it came out in 1985. I bought it used, thought it looked interesting, started it and was hooked. The prose and the plot and the character all grabbed me. I devoured the book and wanted more. There was, alas, no more to be had. Leaping far ahead to 2012, nearly thirty years after the first book, I learn from a correspondent that a sequel was coming out. After the shock wore off, I pre-paid for the book and waited patiently. Heck, I had already waited 25 years. When it came, I decided a trip down memory lane was in order so I pulled out the original and re-read it. It was still just as good as I remembered.
       One thing that works so well for the two books despite the incredible time span between the two is the fact that, unfortunately, things are as messed up in the Middle East as they were back then (or fifty years ago or a hundred or ...). There is no discernable gap in the lives of the major players in the storyline and it is as if only a few months have passed from the end of the first to the start of the second. It really flows well.
       It is not vital to read the first book in order to enjoy the second but like many a really good series, it is highly recommended. Both books are terrific and well deserving of a good read.
       When I first entered this series into the compendium, I said that I hoped, as much as I enjoyed the first two, that there would be more. As of this update, there are four and, with luck, more to come. I am never satisfied!

GRADE

My Grade: A

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