Full Name: James Burlane
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Richard Hoyt
Time Span: 1982 - 1996

       James Burlane is an agent of the CIA.
       Meticulously honest but with a cynicism that seems endless, he does whatever needs doing to get the job done. And if he can find a beautiful woman to help along the way, so much the better.
       The word reprobate might have been invented for Burlane, at least when it comes to the better vices. He does love the ladies and since they seem to like him, too, so much the better. He also loves a good drink. He will take a bad one as well if forced but he would prefer the good stuff. As long as it is wet and potent. He smokes. Not a lot but then not a little, either. Cigars, cigarettes, he doesn't really care. He especially appreciates one while drinking or after the pleasures of a woman. He's a betting man but is neither appreciably good nor bad at it; he just does it for enjoyment and would shrug off the result whichever way it went.
       If you talked to Burlane about these vices, he would certainly just shrug it off. It was who he was and what he enjoyed. In his mid-40's when the series opens, he had already had two failed marriages and has decided he just wasn't very good at it. He doesn't think about it much, though, and would just shrug that off, too, if asked.
       But Burlane isn't totally uncaring. He likes his job but has no illusions about it or the motives of the people above him. He doesn't care for politicians. He strongly dislikes the Soviets, not because they are evil but because they are bullies and he enjoys punching them in the nose on occasion. He is smart and observant and good at guessing motives, probably because of that lack of illusions. He able with a gun and can hold his own in a fight but would rather avoid both if given a chance.

       Burlane's life changes during the course of the series. Having been an operative for far too many years, he has made his share of enemies but even more importantly, he has become a known commodity and that eventually reduces his effectiveness so he dies. More accurately, he will have his death faked so he can become a non-entity, able to do whatever it really takes, leaving total denyability to the government. Even that can last only so long, though, and life will change again.

       Note: The last book in the series was written with, and possibly by, U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie and deals with the slaughter of members of Congress while in session. The authenticity that the co-author brings is impressive.


Number of Books:9
First Appearance:1982
Last Appearance:1996

1 Trotsky's Run Trotsky's Run
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1982

When notorious British traitor Kim Philby contacts the CIA to claim to have news about a major Presidential candidate, the Agency sends James Burlane to meet. Then the agents learn that the candidate really believes himself to be Leon Trotsky.

2 Head Of State Head Of State
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1985

The Soviet's premiere poet is really a closet dissident with an outrageous plan needing James Burlane's help. He is going to steal the head of Lenin to use as a bargaining chip to open emigration.

3 The Dragon Portfolio The Dragon Portfolio
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1986

Uncovering a scheme by the Red Chinese to hit the American stock market for almost a billion dollars, James Burlane must work with a female agent to stop the plot. First, though, they must settle a sexual harassment case she has against him.

4 Siege Siege
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1987

For some reason, when terrorists take over the base on Gibraltor and take thousands of hostages, it is up to James Burlane and his associate, Ella Nidech, to save the day.

5 Marimba Marimba
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1992

Now working for a government committee but still associated with the Agency, James Burlane takes the role of a drug smuggler to find the truth of that illegal business.

6 Red Card Red Card
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1994

James Burlane is hired, under his cover identity of Major Kartoum, by the governing body of the World Cup to find the terrorist who is killing off the best players.

7 Japanese Game Japanese Game
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1995

The kidnapping of the Vice-President's daughter by the Yakuza for their sex trade changes when they learn her identity. Now they are bargaining for more power and James Burlane is sent to stop the negotiations permanently.

8 Tyger! Tyger! Tyger! Tyger!
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1996

Now working in the private sector but still very much in international affairs, James Burlane is asked to help when a syndicate is seeking to corner the market on tigers by killing all the wild ones, and anyone who tries to stop their plan.

9 Blood Of Patriots Blood Of Patriots
Written by Richard Hoyt
Copyright: 1996

Terrorists who storm the House of Representatives and open fire, killing or wounding over a hundred, must have some powerful backing. That is the belief of James Burlane, sent by the President to find the truth. He starts by tracing the money.


       If you can read one of these novels and not become a huge fan of both Burlane and the incredible Mr. Hoyt, you must have read it backwards. For just dynamite style and cadence, they are terrific.
       There is an ease to these stories. Excitement, things blowing up, intrigue, beautiful women, subterfuge and double-dealings and dark alley skulking and back room shenanigans, you name it. But through it all there is the ease that makes reading them so much fun. It is like the author is taking a short trip and just picks you up and pulls you effortlessly with him. A few hours pass, the journey ends, and you thank him and ask when the next ride is coming.
       This series made me want to read anything and everything else the author put out.


My Grade: A-

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