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CHARLES THOROUGHGOOD

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Full Name: Charles Thoroughgood
Nationality: British
Organization: MI-6
Occupation Spymaster

Creator: Alan Judd
Time Span: 1981 - 2019

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Charles Thoroughgood is a British spymaster.
       When we first meet him, he is fresh out of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and headed to Northern Island at the start of the Troubles there. He is smart and enthusiastic and personable, all qualities good and necessary to survive a period of immense challenge when many of those around him looked to the British army for support and just as many wanted them dead. The adventures and times in between are recounted brilliantly.
       After his time in the Service, he is approached by MI-6 to become an agent and we have a couple of recorded adventures depicting his early years and the trouble he would encounter and even more so the price he would pay for events that happened before him and around him but for which he would suffer. Interestingly, he will be faced almost from the beginning of his career as an operative with having to choose between being an honest agent or destroying the memory of his own father and the conflict he deals with is telling. He will pay dearly for his decision but the key point that will be brought out, and more importantly, shown to himself, is his integrity and his determination to keep it when all around and from above demand otherwise.
       The last three adventures, however, find the much older Thoroughgood taking the reins at MI-6, an agency that once disowned him and sought to put him away for a very long time. His return to the fold would come with a great deal of interesting situations, some of which he expected and many out of left field.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1981
Last Appearance:2019

1 Breed of Heroes Breed of Heroes
aka A Breed of Heroes
Written by Alan Judd
Copyright: 1981

Finished with university and the military academy at Sandhurst, Charles Thoroughgood is sent to Northern Ireland to join the Assault Commandos. The four-month tour will be a period of extreme boredom with intermittent bursts of pure terror.

2 Legacy Legacy
Written by Alan Judd
Copyright: 2001

Just released from the military, Charles Thoroughgood is offered a new position with MI-6. On one of his first assignments, the novice spook learns something about his father that will change his life forever and possibly end his budding career - his father might have worked with the KGB.

3 Uncommon Enemy Uncommon Enemy
Written by Alan Judd
Copyright: 2012

Charles Thoroughgood is in prison for having violated the Official Secrets Act. Getting out means taking a position with the Secret Intelligence Agency but doing so gives him a chance to learn that there was far more to his getting arrested that he thought at the time.

4 Inside Enemy Inside Enemy
Written by Alan Judd
Copyright: 2014

With MI-6 turned on its ear from recent troubles, Charles Thoroughgood is brought back to the organization as its new head. One of his first tasks will be to find who is behind a spate of cyber attacks throughout the nation. As he handles that, he also must deal with the escape from prison of a former colleague arrested for treason with Thoroughgood one of the star witnesses.

5 Deep Blue Deep Blue
Written by Alan Judd
Copyright: 2016

MI-5 has found itself forbidden to look into any British political parties so when one fringe group, the Action Against Austerity, looks like it is affiliated with one such party, it is unable to look further. With regret, the head of the department looks to Charles Thoroughgood, his opposite in MI-6, to do the digging.

6 Accidental Agent Accidental Agent
Written by Alan Judd
Copyright: 2019

Charles Thoroughgood knows that as still part of the EU, MI-6 is not allowed to spy on its fellow members. This becomes a challenge when he is leaked the EU's bottom line in the Brexit negotiations and Whitehall wants him to learn more.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1994
Last Appearance:2013

1 A Breed of Heroes A Breed of Heroes
Director: Diarmuid Lawrence
Writer: Charles Wood
Actor: Samuel West as Lt. Charles Thoroughgood
Released: 1994

Season 6, Episode 2 of Screen One - aired on 09/04/1994 - "In 1971, fresh-faced, eager for heroics, the young officers arrive in Belfast. Pelted with rocks by kids, sniped at by the IRA, they take refuge in sex, black humour and the weird rituals of the officers' mess" (IMDB).

2 Legacy Legacy
Director: Pete Travis
Writers: Paula Milne, Alan Judd
Actor: Charlie Cox as Charles Thoroughgood
Released: 2013

A TV movie for BBC Two - aired 11/28/2013 - "Set in the 1970s London during the height of the Cold War when a young spy discovers the disturbing truth about his father's complex past." (IMDB)

MY COMMENTS

       Boy, I wish there was a way to get in America these terrific novels, for they are more then just adventures, that our British cousins have access to. I had to pay good money to have them shipped by steamer ship across the Atlantic but it was worth it. Charles Thoroughgood is a heckuva character and Alan Judd one terrific writer.
       I love the fact that the first book, written two decades before the second, talks about the life of the person as he becomes a man and has to face life head on, not to mention death. Then for the second book, we jump ahead a bit but still have a young version of Thoroughgood entering a completely different type of life and we can see how he has to struggle to do good and do well, two completely different concepts. The third book follows on immediately after the first.
       Then, though only two actual years passed from the third book to the fourth, a whole lot of time in the character's life went by, and we suddenly have a lot more mature and thoughtful Thoroughgood dealing with a completely new set of dilemmas.
       Really three different stages of the same man's life. All done with excellent writing.
       Too bad they are not available here.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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