HAGGAI GODIN

 
Full Name: Haggai Godin
Nationality: Russian
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Owen John
Time Span: 1966 - 1976
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Haggai Godin is an agent with the British Secret Service.
       The background for Godin is very sketchy at best. The most that is known is that Godin is the son of a Russian √©migr√© who moved to Istanbul before Haggai was born as Godin stated in one adventure that he was raised in Istanbul from childhood. That is about all that is revealed of the history except that Godin's vast knowledge of Europe and the Middle East shows a life spent traveling extensively.
       Before his associate, Charles Mason, met Godin, he was warned by Godin's employer that Godin was a strange man but if he suggested a line of action, Mason should seriously consider it as it would likely be the right one. That sums up quite well the nature of Haggai Godin, a man not prone to giving an opinion unless it was well thought-out and experience enough to make those thoughts worth considering.
       Godin loves the good life. He is described as a huge man with gigantic hands, large green eyes, a deep boisterous laugh, and a zest for adventure. He drives extremely fast, eats large amounts of very spicy, exotic foods, and always has readily to hand a flask of expensive brandy. His skin is compared to that of rhino skin and his face is said to have large folds of skin hanging from his jowls. He is, as several characters noted, a most extraordinary sight.
       The Colonel Charles Mason, mentioned above, is a member of the CIA, working as a liaison between his agency and the British Secret Service. He accompanies Godin on every published mission and is every bit as important to the assignments as is Godin, though there is no doubt that it is Godin who is really leading the action.

BOOKS

Number of Books:7
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1976

1 Thirty Days Hath September Thirty Days Hath September
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1966

In an absolutely riveting sequence of events, we are allowed to watch the methodical psychological breakdown of a captured scientist by an expert interrogator who needs the victim to reveal a highly secret formula. We also see the first team-up between Godin and Mason as they seek to locate the scientist near a resort in Italy. This is a fantastic novel that I cannot recommend highly enough. The plight of the scientist is, no pun intended, captivating and the relationship between the two heroes is a pleasure.

2 The Disinformer The Disinformer
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1966

The whole premise of the Soviet campaign of disinformation is something that is not covered well enough in literature. This book helps, however, as the plot revolves around a scheme of discredit the United States in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A Soviet agent is planning to cross from Canada to the U.S. to spread false data about more missiles in Cuba. Godin and Mason are sent to stop him but shackled with the need to not let him be killed on Canadian soil. It is a tough assignment but the key to the enjoyment is seeing how the disinformation could so drastically affect world politics.

3 A Beam Of Black Light A Beam Of Black Light
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1968

The scheme is a strange one in which a noted British scientist must fake defection to the Soviets to learn the location of a top secret laboratory. Godin and Mason have the task of getting to the site and freeing the 'defector'. The turmoil that the scientist goes through as he gets to know his fellow researchers is very well written.

4 Dead On Time Dead On Time
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1969

On the eve of a long awaited peace agreement between Israel and the major Arab nations, a Soviet plot to sabotage the pact as a prelude to sending in forces in the 'interests of peace' is discovered by a friend of Haggai. Now it is a race to see who gets to their destination first, the assassin or the men after him.

5 The Shadow In The Sea The Shadow In The Sea
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1972

The sighting of a strange submarine off Wales results in Haggai infiltrating a submarine base to find out the facts on a new Soviet sub. The time spent traveling in northern Russia is terrific. A short but powerful scene of Haggai climbing a cliff in the frozen north is one to be remembered for a long time.

6 Sabotage Sabotage
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1973

By the slimmest of fortune, an attempted sabotage of an American nuclear power plant went awry. Now the same people who almost succeeded in the States have moved to Britain to try again to make a powerful statement. It is the job of Godin and Mason to track down the saboteurs before they kill hundreds of people.

7 Getaway Getaway
Written by Owen John
Copyright: 1976

The mission for Godin and Mason was to brave their way into the Soviet Union and destroy a new submarine that would threaten North Sea oil drilling. They did that but getting out would be their biggest challenge.

MY COMMENTS

       As can be certainly told from the praise given above, I think the series of seven books about Haggai Godin and his associate Charles Mason ranks in the top 5% of all the spy series being discussed. The writing is easy to follow, fast in movement, and compelling in contemplation. We never learn as much about Godin as I would have liked, as he is a fascinating man, but seeing him in action is a delight. I regret that there were only seven books made. There should have been more.
       Another aspect of the series that makes it so compelling is the relationship between Mason and Godin. Both are professional and both are good and both quickly learn to respect the other's opinion. It is a partnership of equals, with Godin being a bit more equal than Mason.

GRADE

My Grade: A

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