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LUKE PAGAN

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Full Name: Luke Pagan
Nationality: British
Organization: MI-5
Occupation Agent

Creator: Michael Gilbert
Time Span: 1995 - 1998

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Luke Pagan is an agent with MI-5.
       When we first meet him as an adult he is a police officer and has no ambition to become a secret agent, if he even thought such people might exist. Certainly at the time there is no formal organization like MI-5 or MI-6; they had not yet been established. In fact, when they are brought about, young Pagan will be one of the first seconded to MI-5 from his duties as a cop. Realizing he liked the work and was good at it, he would go to make the career change.
       Prior to his adulthood, at age 15 in the year 1907, we meet young Pagan working with his father as a games-keeper for a wealthy British landowner and planning to go into the priesthood with the backing of the employer as patron. A run-in with that man's youngest son that ended in blows put a stop to that as patronage was withdrawn. From this altercation Pagan would see his desires to enforce what was right would govern his chose of career. He also learned, though he might not have recognized it as such, that while honesty was the best policy, it did not always behoove someone to tell everything that one knew. This lesson would prove useful in his future.
       One other thing Pagan learned during the last part of his teen years was languages. His father's friendship with the local vicar resulted in that man teaching Pagan a good understanding of French followed by tutoring, paid for by Pagan's father, in Russian. That would really be of importance years later when the needs of MI-5 for Russian speakers would be shown.
       England, and London especially, in the decade leading up to the Great War was a haven for dissidents from all countries and many of those, Russian in particular, took to anarchism with the hope that if "it" was all brought down, something better would come forth. So with anarchists wanting all order disrupted and Bolsheviks wanting the upper class destroyed and Germany and Austria threatening expansion throughout Europe, the need for someone like Pagan was tremendous.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1995
Last Appearance:1998

1 Ring of Terror Ring of Terror
Written by Michael Gilbert
Copyright: 1995

It is the early 1900's. Russian anarchists are using terror to upset London and both the Home Office and the police search for a way to combat the rise. Pulled into the newly formed MO5 are police officers Luke Pagan and Joe Narrabone who have the task of monitoring the actions of three key revolutionaries and to find the proof of their conspiracies sufficient to arrest them.

2 Into Battle Into Battle
Written by Michael Gilbert
Copyright: 1996

The year is 1914 and Europe is at war. Luke Pagan, now a full-time member of MI-5, is determined to catch the German undercover agent masquerading as Major Richards but that chase will lead him from Portsmouth to France and across that nation to the front lines.

3 Over and Out Over and Out
Written by Michael Gilbert
Copyright: 1998

It is looking like the end of the First World War could come soon but an organization lead by a Belgian traitor is out to get soldiers demoralized at the state of things to change sides and fight for Germany. Luke Pagan's job is to find the truth and if necessary stop the practice.

MY COMMENTS

       There are some authors who are incapable of writing anything but incredibly good prose. Michael Gilbert is one of them. I have had the distinct pleasure of reading several of his terrific mysteries and each one was a pleasure. His set of short stories adventures of Behrens and Calder rank, in my grading, as one of the best spy fiction series to be found.
       In his 80's the man still was able to produce works that transcend genres in that while these books about Luke Pagan are definitely spy novels, and darn good ones at that, they also work fabulously as historical novels as well as general fiction. The reader does not just follow Pagan on assignments, he/she gets to follow Pagan on important parts of his life and to really get inside the man's head. Importantly, this is accomplished with an impressively small amount of words.
       I strongly recommend to spy fans and history fans and fans of just solid, good, enjoyable fiction - read these books.

GRADE

My Grade: A

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