CODENAME FILES

 
Full Name: Codename Files
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Mark Arundel
Time Span: 2011 - 2013
ABOUT THE SERIES

       The hero of the series is an agent with British Intelligence.
       It is necessary to be that vague when talking about the main character because the reader never learns the gentleman's name in any of the so far three adventures recorded about him. That is, of course, quite strange for any tale because even if the author chooses to not mention the man by name, it is extremely rare that the people dealing with the man should never one mention so much as a nickname.
       And nicknames is something that the man in charge of the hero gives everyone. These amusing sobriquets are often derived from some facet of the person such as a character named Sopwith being tagged 'Camel' and a man who recently visited a call girl being dubbed 'Casanova'. Each person the boss, named Bartholomew Meriwether, deals with or about invariably is honored with such an identification but if the hero is ever given one, it, too, is never mentioned.
       The mystery continues with who exactly his employer is. I mention British Intelligence because the people paying his salary are definitely British and most certainly working in the intelligence field but they are not MI-5 nor are they MI-6 though they have a lot to do with the latter, called VC or VX (for Vauxhall Cross, I imagine). There is at least one mention of Meriwether having actually worked at VC once but it is not certain if he still does. Early in the first adventure, a representative of Meriwether states that they were from the Foreign Office which may very well be correct but could just as easily be misdirection.
       Whoever the hero works for, the organization works at some fairly high levels as Meriwether is a man of means with a lot of connections in the highest circles and moves about at the altitude without hesitation. Obviously he belongs there.
       Which is certainly not something one would say about the hero. This man is very much a common guy and enjoys it. He is not used to the finer things and when he lucks into having access, he readily partakes of them but he knows such things are only temporarily available and when they go away, he would tend to shrug and go back to life as he knows it. He is ever the pragmatist.
       The hero becomes connected with Meriwether and his people, especially the lovely Charlotte Miller, when he was unceremoniously let go from the Royal Army with a dishonorable discharge for gross insubordination. His offense was nearly killing a senior officer, something the brass take a very dim view of but which seemed justified to the hero. The nearly departed officer had chosen to send the hero on a mission knowing that at the time the hero's mother was dying in a hospital. The hero was told of the condition only after the mission was over and after the mother had died. The hero took exception to that and even greater exception to the officer's smug attitude. A one-sided fight resulting in a nearly broken neck and the hero was out of work.
       One week later, the hero is invited to a mysterious (to him) meeting with Ms. Miller and two other chaps and offered a job. It was to go somewhere and kill someone and no reasons given which made the hero ponder for a moment but he was out of a job and work was work. He accepted.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2013

1 Codename: Moneyman Codename: Moneyman
Written by Mark Arundel
Copyright: 2011

The former SIS agent is hired by British Intelligence to go to Tenerife in the Canary Islands to kill a man. Once there, his orders are changed to keep the man alive despite several groups wanting the man dead.

2 Codename: Casanova Codename: Casanova
Written by Mark Arundel
Copyright: 2012

The agent is ordered to look into the actions of a banker suspected of stealing a lot of the country's money. When a call girl is murdered and the man disappears, the agent is sent to Switzerland to bring him back. An old adversary is out to stop him.

3 Codename: Santiago Codename: Santiago
Written by Mark Arundel
Copyright: 2013

This adventure takes the agent to Rio on a holiday that turns out to be a working one.

MY COMMENTS

       The author likes to use short sentences. He uses them a lot. They sometimes get annoying. You get used to it.
       It was for a very brief time a tad off-putting but the stories are so interesting and the characters such a hoot that I quickly got used to the staccato rhythm that shows up a fair amount. The hero is especially fascinating because as a soldier of more than a few years, he is so used to taking orders and doing what he is told that he does so instinctively. That does not mean he blindly does what he is told - he has a very good brain and uses it a lot and is not afraid to go his own way when he thinks it best. But unless there is a compelling reason to disobey, he does what he is told. You can almost see him invisibly shrug on more than one occasion as he chooses to just go along.
       And even more interesting to me is that he has the decency to admit to himself on several occasions when bad people are trying to kill him or stop him or just annoy him and the stakes look almost too highly stacked to bet against, he is having fun. While he never comes out and says it, you can almost hear him concede that "it's something to do!"
       I enjoyed all three books. I then looked to see if there were any more since the last one came out a couple years before I read it. There have not been any more but had there been, I would have bought and read them.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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