PHILIS

 
Full Name: Philis
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence SR(2)
Occupation Agent

Creator: Ritchie Perry
Time Span: 1972 - 1985
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Philis is an agent of British Intelligence.
       SR(2) is the name of the division for which he works, the SR standing for Special Responsibilities, a catch-all phrase for the myriad of jobs nobody else wants or can do. There had once been another division called SR-1 but it had long since been absorbed into SR-2, which now specializes in fighting international criminals who could threaten the security of England.
       Philis was living a moderately successful life as a smuggler in Brazil and intended on staying that way when he was approached by representative of SR-2 with an offer - help in an assignment or have unwanted information passed to the authorities. He hated being blackmailed and tried for a while to find another way out but not finding one and hating the alternatives, he agrees.
       Once the initial mission is completed, Philis, now back in England, knows his previous life is over. He has blown up too many bridges and became far more visible than someone in the smuggling business can afford to be. He also knows that SR-2 could make like difficult for him should he try his old ways elsewhere. The offer of a job was not appealing but it paid the bills.
       Philis is in his mid 30’s at the start of the series. He had travelled to Brazil to take a job with a shipping company but that job had lasted only a week before he quit, making it questionable whether the job was just a way to get passage to Brazil or a way out of England. Whichever it was, it was the start of a nine-year period of living in that country, ostensibly without visible means of support. His knowledge of shipping and his ingenuity kept him solvent, if not really legal.
       It is that ingenuity and his knowledge of South American activity that made him needed by British Intelligence out to fight drug running to England. Once that job was over, it was his proficiency and tenacity that kept him a valuable and valued asset to SR(2).

       It should be noted that the numbering of the books is mine, based on copyright dates. The American paperback publisher, Ballantine, had a different order based on the fact that several were never released by them. The British publisher did not choose to number them.

BOOKS

Number of Books:13
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1985

1 The Fall Guy The Fall Guy
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1972

The loss of two British Intelligence agents trying to find the source of the cocaine trafficing in Europe makes the agency know that the best way to catch a smuggler is to use a smuggler.

2 A Hard Man To Kill A Hard Man To Kill
aka Nowhere Man
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1973

He was to find two people, one a traitor and the other a Nazi mass murderer. To do this, Philis needed the help of a KGB agent that he put behind bars, which he must now break out.

3 Ticket To Ride Ticket To Ride
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1973

He was supposed to be the bodyguard of a widow of a heroin kingpin but when she was kidnapped, Philis had to get her back. To do so, he had to first find a fellow agent who was also in danger of being taken.

4 Holiday With A Vengeance Holiday With A Vengeance
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1974

The British consul to the small Caribbean island of Santa Monica has been abducted. Philis, in the vicinity on vacation, thinks if he acts fast enough, he can get the man free but a wide assortment of opponents seek to stop him.

5 Your Money And Your Wife Your Money And Your Wife
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1975

Married less than a week, Philis sees his bride kidnapped by three men under the control of a KGB colonel who offers back his wife in exchange for an assignment.

6 One Good Death Deserves Another One Good Death Deserves Another
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1976

The murder of his love while in Brazil sets Philis out on a rampage of revenge against a band of former Nazis hiding in South America.

7 Dead End Dead End
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1977

It called itself the Irish Patriotic League even though it seemed to be neither Irish nor very patriotic is at war with an arms dealer and Philis is caught in the middle.

8 Dutch Courage Dutch Courage
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1978

On vacation in Amsterdam, Philis is kidnapped and beaten. Somehow he has accidentally gotten himself in a fight between the Israelis and the PLO, with a heroin smuggler also involved.

9 Bishop's Pawn Bishop's Pawn
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1979

Philis was ordered to help smuggle a Catholi bishop over the Berlin Wall but this was before the priest had a Nazi history and there was $50 million in stolen loot at stake. The KGB knew, though.

10 Grand Slam Grand Slam
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1980

Philis and his boss owe a favor to a rich oil magnate. He gives them a chance to repay it when his daughter goes missing. Philis is determined to find her even though the best private investigators in the country have had no success.

11 Fool's Mate Fool's Mate
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1981

Philis is instructed to escort a beautiful Ugandan woman across France back to the U.K. but it is a difficult assignment as she was once Idi Amin's favorite mistresses and a lot of people want to get their hands on her.

12 Foul Up Foul Up
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1982

After barely succeeding in evacuating the staff of a British embassy off a war-torn Caribbean island, Philis learns the rebels were trained by a company in the U.K. He is sent to stop the company.

13 Kolwezi Kolwezi
Written by Ritchie Perry
Copyright: 1985

When sent to Oslo to capture a killer known as a playboy assassin, Philis takes along a young assistant, a porn star with great zeal for her new profession.

MY COMMENTS

       There's just very little to not like about this action-packed series. It has a glib raconteur as the protagonist, a man who is always going up against all manner of bad guys who are universally rotten, while beautiful ladies wait their chance to throw themselves at the hero. It is my kind of fun!
       The writing that Ritchie Perry gives us is top notch for an action adventure series. You get a good feel for the atmosphere, intelligent and realistic dialogue, and plots that are intelligent and thought-out.
       I greatly enjoyed the books. I would have read a lot more of them.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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