TWEED

 
Full Name: Tweed
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Colin Forbes
Time Span: 1982 - 2006
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Tweed is the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service.
       Whether Mr. Forbes intended on doing a series about Tweed is uncertain. The part played by Tweed in the first book was extremely important but he was by no means the central character. After another book dealing with WWII, Forbes returned to the spy genre with an adventure starring a news correspondent, Bob Newman, who eventually meets up with and is helped by Tweed. Again, Tweed was an important but not primary participant.
       After that, however, the series took off in full force with Tweed running the show at the SIS, helped by his beautiful assistant, Paula Gray, and usually backed-up by the resourceful and highly tenacious Bob Newman. Both of these characters could easily have held their own in a series, so fully developed that they were, especially has time went along. Gray was closer to Tweed in work but Newman was a vital player, too.
       Forbes' books all have several features in common. They are all good. They are all filled with many, many twists and turns and false alarms and dead bodies and wild, wicked plots. And they are all long! Figuring an average of 475 pages per chronicle, added to the wallop each adventure packs, and you definitely get your money's worth.
       You'll probably like Tweed, as I did. He is not the ultimate spy hero, tending to be closer to the George Smiley than to the James Bond. He is of average height and realistic demeanor. You wouldn't find him on a mountain-climbing vacation or scuba diving with sharks off Kingston. That does not mean, however, that he does not get into the thick of things on more than one occasion; it is just that it is his job to send others in and he only takes part when there are no alternatives or when he is pushed by events into it.
       You will always find him thinking. A lot! He sees bad guys behind every rock but there isn't any paranoia involved because the bad guys are truly lurking there. Luckily for us, he sees them, but not so lucky for them because he is damned good at his job and not so lucky for him because they all know it and want him dead.

BOOKS

Number of Books:24
First Appearance:1982
Last Appearance:2006

1 Double Jeopardy Double Jeopardy
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1982

The death of a fellow agent in Lake Konstanz forces Tweed to send another experienced agent to find out what the neo-Nazi group Delta is planning. It becomes clear by the number of bodies piling up that something big is underway involving a Summit train carrying several world leaders.

2 Terminal Terminal
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1984

The tip-off about a package being smuggled into the Iron Curtain is not the first point of interest to Bob Newman concerning the Berne Clinic but it is enough to get him to investigate. This leads him into contact with Tweed who is also interested in that facility and something named Terminal.

3 Cover Story Cover Story
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1985

The last message Newman's deceased wife sent him was that 'Adam Procane has to be stopped'. Soon Soviet Intelligence is passing along proof of her death along with the warning to everyone to stay away from Procane. Who is Procane and why is he so important are questions Tweed wants answered.

4 The Janus Man The Janus Man
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1987

Tweed has realized that one of his own men has to be a double agent, a man who, like Janus, looks both west and east. Which of his European sector chiefs is the traitor, however, isn't certain. While he tries to find out, the order comes from East Germany to kill Tweed before he learns the truth.

5 Deadlock Deadlock
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1988

The disappearance of a major Soviet planner, along with enough explosives to take out a large city, has everyone concerned, especially the KGB. When time passes and no sign of him comes, they turn to Tweed to help in the search for their own man. He in turns needs the help of Newman and Paula Grey.

6 The Greek Key The Greek Key
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1989

A murder that took place more than 40 years before starts an investigation by Tweed, with help from Newman and Grey, that soon connects three former soldiers who took part in a raid on a Greek isle during WWII with the death of an SIS sector chief for the Greek area.

7 Shockwave Shockwave
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1990

Someone is out to take care of Tweed. First they frame him for the rape and murder of a beautiful woman he has never met. Then, when he flees to Europe, along with Paula Gray, they issue a bulletin to all intelligence agencies on the Continent to be on the look-out.

8 Whirlpool Whirlpool
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1991

Bombs exploding all over Europe is certainly tied in to the disappearance of numerous heads of various Secret Polices from ex-Communist countries but how is hard to figure. As Tweed ponders the situation that is somehow tied to an Institute in Finland, Paula Gray is reported missing there.

9 Cross Of Fire Cross Of Fire
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1992

As an assassin strikes numerous targets across Europe, all dead from strangulation in the same way, Tweed sees far more into the pattern than just a serial killer - he sees a conspiracy that someone connects a French wouldgeneral with his own army and a resurgence of anti-immigrant rioting.

10 By Stealth By Stealth
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1993

Tweed witnesses a mysterious woman killing another in an airport terminal. Soon word comes that the same woman is responsible for several other murders. As he begins to investigate, he learns about ships that disappear and a sinister man named Dr. Wand.

11 The Power The Power
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1994

Tweed seems the target when a dinner party he was late attending is massacred. Then his headquarters is destroyed by a large bomb. Losing the backing of the Prime Minister as the attempts on his life increase, Tweed and his colleagues must find out who is behind the vendetta.

12 Fury Fury
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1995

Who is behind Project Tidal Wave, an operation that seems destined to sweep over all of Europe to an unknown end? Evidence points to the billionaire owner of a global communications network but is he the man behind the threat, yet another who serves an unseen master, or a dupe forced to help?

13 Precipice Precipice
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1996

His name was Leopold Brazil. He is a prominent member of society and a key figure in Western events. He is also a man who possesses a plan to 'change the balance of world power'. Helping him is the service of The Motorman, a new assassin to the international scene but a skilled one.

14 The Cauldron The Cauldron
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1997

Walking along a beach in California, Paula Grey comes across the body of a beautiful young woman. Weeks later, Bob Newman happens upon the corpse of another woman off the coast of Cornwall. Looking at photos, both realize they had seen the same person. Tweed is intrigued.

15 The Sisterhood The Sisterhood
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1998

The assassinations might be the work of one woman or of several, it is hard to tell because each woman seen near the spot was wearing a veil. Numerous key people from several leaderless Eastern European nations have been taken out and Tweed is certain the Sisterhood is behind it.

16 This United State This United State
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1998

The assassin known as the Phantom is striking targets across England. One of his probable victims is the Prime Minister and more deaths are coming as Tweed and company seek to stop the actions of the so-called Umbrella Men.

17 Sinister Tide Sinister Tide
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 1999

An old foe that had eluded Tweed in the past, Dr. Goslar, has returned possessing a tremendous weapon capable of causing the deaths of tens of millions. While trying to stop him, Tweed must elude an assassin known as the Yellow Man who is tracking his every move.

18 Rhinoceros Rhinoceros
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2000

Four heads of state are determined to bring down democracies around the world by instigating terrorist acts, thus giving a reason for dictatorships. Tweed is certain he has identified four but the fifth remains a secret.

19 The Vorpal Blade The Vorpal Blade
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2001

There didn't seem too much to connect the two dead bodies separated by 3000 miles except for both being decapitated but Tweed is certain there is a connection and that it is the start of something far worse.

20 The Cell The Cell
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2002

Believing that Al-Qeida is planning a big attack in London though others in authority are not so certain, Tweed starts an investigation but seems to be fought by his own side at each step.

21 No Mercy No Mercy
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2003

Tweed and company are well into an assignment tracking down a dangerous killer when it becomes apparent that their actions are being anticipated and the traitor could easily be one of them.

22 Blood Storm Blood Storm
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2004

The three brothers called themselves the Cabal and their goal was to unite all the security forces into one unit to create a perfect police state. Tweed is determined to stop them.

23 The Main Chance The Main Chance
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2005

Tweed is told by a powerful banker that she has recently been pressured to sell her bank to a mysterious group but has refused. When she is killed in a bizarre method, Tweed knows it was no accident

24 The Savage Gorge The Savage Gorge
Written by Colin Forbes
Copyright: 2006

Once again Tweed pokes his head into an interesting murder and again is led unfailingly to the affairs, in more ways than one, of the head of a powerful oil company.

MY COMMENTS

       I like Colin Forbes. I liked him back in the 70's when he had written dynamite action adventure fare such as The Heights of Zervos, The Stone Leopard, The Palermo Affair, and Avalanche Express. I found his work to be on the same par with another master, Alistair MacLean. So did a lot of critics.
       Unfortunately, much of Colin Forbes' work is hard to come by in the States. As a result, I fell away from his later works until I began to delve deeply into the spy series genre and was very pleasantly surprised to find he had created his own espionage mythos. True to the skill of this man, he took a path less traveled and came up with Tweed.
       A good number of adventures later, I am pleased that Tweed never slowed down long enough for one of the many assassination attempts to succeed. I was sorry at the passing of Mr. Forbes. Not only did a great writer leave us but a great character/team left as well.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

Your Average Grade:   A+

YOUR OPINIONS
EddieLove A+ 2/4/2012 8:44:46 AM

I love how Forbes's idea of character description is to go on about people's hair. He also seems to me to take some shrill shots at his betters (LeCarre) in some cases.


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