ROGER TAINE

 
Full Name: Roger Taine
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Geoffrey Household
Time Span: 1951 - 1953
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Roger Taine is a salesman.
       An infantry soldier during the war, Taine became an officer as a reward for valiant service and for having an uncommonly cool head on his shoulders during combat. Once an officer, he quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Once the war was over, he left the service and got a 'normal' job as a salesman for a large firm north of London, content to leave behind the danger and the medals.
       Taine considers himself an extremely normal man, happily married with two small sons, working a normal, unexciting job but enjoying the opportunity to spend a good deal of time outdoors. There is undoubtedly, however, a streak of the adventurer in him that prompted his actions to get involved in things far outside his 'normal' life.
       Taine's cool head, mentioned above, keeps him from getting too excited in any circumstance but that occasional desire for something different is what would cause him to peek through an open door simply because it is open and should not be. It is what propels him to act in a way most people would not. Though he is hardly an expert with guns or hand-to-hand combat, he is smart, resourceful, and unwilling to step back from a fight just because it might be prudent.
       His participation with the British Secret Service comes about accidentally but he doesn't flinch when he is approached nor does he flinch at the job they ask of him. He is happy to go back to his normal life at the end of the first adventure but when called upon again he does not hesitate.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1951
Last Appearance:1952

1 A Rough Shoot A Rough Shoot
aka Shoot First
Written by Geoffrey Household
Copyright: 1951

Encountering two apparent poachers infringing on a region he had rented, Roger Taine thought a bit of buckshot in the rear would dissuade them. Unfortunately, they were men involved in far worse and one of this is killed, landing Taine in a plot to overthrow the British government.

2 A Time To Kill A Time To Kill
Written by Geoffrey Household
Copyright: 1952

When Roger Taine is approached by Roland for another foray into the world of intrigue, he is interested but his wife is worried. He should have listened to his wife. Soon he is facing Soviet agents and dodging bullets as he seeks to defeat people who have taken his two sons hostage as insurance.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1953
Last Appearance:1953

       It can be excused when the main character of a series changes from British to American (and changes his first name, too) if the man writing the screenplay based on the terrific Household book is the incredibly gifted author Eric Ambler.

1 Rough Shoot Rough Shoot
Also known as Shoot First
Director: Robert Parrish
Writers: Geoffrey Household, Eric Ambler
Actors: Roland Culver as Randall, Herbert Lom as Sandorski, Evelyn Keyes as Cecily Paine, Joel McCrea as Robert Taine
Released: 1953

US Army officer Robert Taine and his wife have a small cottage in an English village. He was out hunting when he fired buckshot at a poacher but then discovers the man is dead. He is chased by the police and government agents as he tries to clear his name.

MY COMMENTS

       This two-book series is a pair of extremely enjoyable stories about an average man who takes on extraordinary matters. They are rather short as chronicles go but they pack a wallop in those pages.
       Household is a well-regarded genius for telling stories of great intrigue and these two books definitely bear out his reputation. He grabs you with a simple scene that changes quickly into a violent one and then back into near normalcy, leaving you a bit breathless but totally believing. It is much like a fender-bender in that one minute things are fine, there is a sudden unexpected collision, and then things are quiet again as you try to cope with what just happened. Instead of fenders, though, Household gives you a dead body.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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