CHECK FORCE

 
Full Name: Alexander Chane and Vladimir Karlov
Series Name: Check Force
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Ralph Hayes
Time Span: 1975 - 1976
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Check Force, Alexander Chane and Vladimir Gregoryevich Karlov, are freelance agents.
       These two men are dedicated to fighting a powerful international enemy. Each man has, in his own way, learned of the existence of the group known as Force III. That very covert organization was born out of the ashes of WWII and is aimed totally at seeing the super powers head to all-out war. Agents have infiltrated the American CIA, Soviet KGB, and Chinese L-5, among other places, to keep the pot boiling in furtherance of that ultimate goal of world dominance.
       Chane, formerly of the CIA, resigned from his Agency when his suspicions about a fellow agent, guilty of murder, are ignored by a superior who was clandestinely working with the murderer. Soon hitmen sent by Force III try to take him out and, when they failed, helped plant evidence against Chane. To escape capture, he left his country to hide out in the Dominican Republic.
       Karlov had been the best the KGB had to offer but, though he loved his country greatly, had grown to despise the brutality and futility of its government. This drove him to finally defect to Britain. After considerable time held by the British government, unwilling to betray his homeland, he decided to go out on his own. Escaping several assassination attempts, he fled to the Dominican Republic.
       The accidental meeting of the two men leads eventually to a loose partnership to combat Force III. Though naturally wary of each other after a career of not trusting the other side, they eventually come to realize that their common enemy will inevitably win unless they join forces. Even together their chances are slim to none but these two fighters know that they have to try, if for no other reason than Force III will not rest until they are dead. Besides the kill or be killed reason, these men are flat out ticked that their lives were ruined and they would like to return the favor.

Note that some lists of the books in this series also include the title Nightmare Island. I could find no such book by Ralph Hayes but I do have a copy of a book of this title by R.E. Hayes. It is a routine gothic novel of a woman in peril in a cliffside mansion on a storm ravaged island. No mention of Chane or Karlov.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1976

1 100 Megaton Kill 100 Megaton Kill
Written by Ralph Hayes
Copyright: 1975

Tracking down the leadership of Force III takes Chane and Karlov to the Argentine where the cabal is testing their own atomic weapon. It becomes clear that Force III is planning to attack the major powers and plant evidence implicating both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

2 Clouds Of War Clouds Of War
Written by Ralph Hayes
Copyright: 1975

The latest scheme by Force III to bring the super powers to war involves the assassination of the new, highly respected U.S. Secretary of State, with plenty of evidence pointing to agents of the Soviet Union, hoping that war will result.

3 Judgment Day Judgment Day
Written by Ralph Hayes
Copyright: 1975

In the Middle East on an assignment for a French Intelligence agency, Chane soon becomes embroiled in a new Force III scheme, this time involving the killing of a Arab statesman and making it look like the Israelis did it, all to keep that region steaming.

4 The Peking Plot The Peking Plot
Written by Ralph Hayes
Copyright: 1975

An angry Chinese general, stewing over land currently controlled by the Soviets but, in his opinion, historically belonging to the Chinese, has a plan for taking back the region by force. This plan is backed solidly by Force III knowing that such a conflict would soon escalate into war and could even extend to a World War.

5 Seeds Of Doom Seeds Of Doom
Written by Ralph Hayes
Copyright: 1976

With famine hitting many parts of the world, including the Soviet Union, the need for American grain grows ever stronger. A plot by Force III to destroy large amounts of this year's crop would send all countries into desperate actions, producing the desired war.

6 Fires Of Hell Fires Of Hell
Written by Ralph Hayes
Copyright: 1976

Force III has put together an incredible team of killers, all with the aim of killing the men in Check Force and neither Crane nor Karlov know they are targets.

MY COMMENTS

       While I enjoyed the camaraderie between Chane and Karlov as well as the many, many, many action scenes, on the whole this series is too fast and too forced to have any lasting effect. Since, however, it was clearly meant as a men's action/adventure series instead of a serious espionage one, that is to be expected.
       With that caveat in mind, Check Force is a hoot. Chane and Karlov are both larger-than-life agents, both capable of kicking serious butt, and both determined to win. You almost feel sorry for the bad guys. Almost.

GRADE

My Grade: C-

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