GIFF SPEER

 
Full Name: Giff Speer
Nationality: American
Organization: U.S. Army
Occupation Military - Policeman

Creator: Don Tracy
Time Span: 1960 - 1976
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Giff Speer is a Military Policeman.
       With far more in common with a private investigator series, especially a hard-boiled detective, than a secret agent, the Speer adventures nevertheless fit in because he gets assigned around the world and must go undercover often to solve the case.
       The initial books in the series has Speer first a sergeant in the MP.s and then a special, undercover agent. As the series progresses, he eventually retires but, like all good heroes, the troubles don't stop coming and he stays quite busy, ending his described career involved with international terrorism and hijacking.
       When we are first introduced to Speer, he is 46 years old but he looks at least ten years younger. He is an impressive figure, standing 6'1 1/2” and weighing 220 lbs, none of it fat. “His head was covered with close-cropped, Swede-yellow curls with a touch of gray at the sides, the bright thatch startling in contrast to his deeply-tanned skin. He has deep-set blue eyes and a flat nose. His chin is normally set in a stern, resolute manner and has several scars put there “by fists and other implements of combat.”
       Speer likes the occasional drink and the occasional beauty at his side but even more, he likes a good, tough case to get in the middle of and hammer his way out. He thinks with his brain, not his fists, but he lets his fists do the explaining on more than one occasion.
       Since he enjoys a top-secret clearance and the respect of his bosses, it is Speer who gets pulled in when the case involves enemy agents or looks like it might. He is respectful to senior personnel but he never, ever steps back from a confrontation no matter who pulls what rank. He knows that many a crime has been covered up to protect someone's reputation or career and he is not one to let that happen when he is around.
       Retirement does not slow him down when it comes to excitement and danger – it just dresses him differently.

BOOKS

Number of Books:9
First Appearance:1960
Last Appearance:1976

1 Deadly To Bed Deadly To Bed
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1960

While to some the murdered wife of an Army captain was the perfect spouse but to others she was the next Mata Hari. Giff Speer is told to find out who she really was and why someone needed her dead.

2 Naked She Died Naked She Died
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1962

Sabotage is the crime Giff Speer is sent to investigate. Before he can even unpack his bags, he is being shot at, possibly by Communists infiltrators who want him gone.

3 Fun And Deadly Games Fun And Deadly Games
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1968

The disappearance of a prominent army colonel and subsequent emergence of his widow with more money that seemed right gets Giff Speer assigned to the case.

4 Look Down On Her Dying Look Down On Her Dying
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1968

Twenty cases of grenades were missing and the key witness was murdered. The investigator was on to something when he turned up dead. Now Giff Speer must fight against a terrorist group with no fear of killing.

5 Pot Of Trouble Pot Of Trouble
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1971

Just retired, Giff Speer accepts an invitation to visit an old friend in Arizona, soon stepping into trouble involving a priceless Indian relic.

6 Flats Fixed, Among Other Things Flats Fixed, Among Other Things
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1975

Two teenage daughters of a crusader against drugs are being help by the Mafia to force him to quit. Speer agrees to find a way to free them.

7 The Big X The Big X
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1976

The death of an old Army buddy gets Giff Speer involved in a case where the widow of a Mafia bigwig would rather he didn't.

8 Death Calling Collect Death Calling Collect
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1976

A collect call at 2:00 a.m. from an uncle pleading for help forces Giff Speer to return to a home he had left decades before and face people he'd rather not.

9 High, Wide & Ransom High, Wide & Ransom
Written by Don Tracy
Copyright: 1976

He had just settled into his airplane seat when he is rudely interrupted by a would-be hijacker. Helping out in the matter, Giff Speer becomes involved with a fight against calling itself the Invincible Coalition.

MY COMMENTS

       Speer is a hard-boiled detective in uniform for much of the series but he belongs in the list of spies because the cases that he handles are often connected to spies, terrorists, radicals, other governments, and trouble-makers inside the American government as well.
       The period of time in which Speer starts up is quite a bit different than when he is last heard from and the books reflect that but though Speer does get older and the world around him has changed quite a bit, he is still a resolute to not let a bad guy go unpunished or to let anyone hurt his country or his friends.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

Your Average Grade:   A+

YOUR OPINIONS
JC Amberger A+ 11/13/2013 11:05:13 AM

Like Don Tracy's work in general, the Giff Speer episodes vary between "undiscovered gem" and ho-hum. The plots of the earlier books, with Speer investigating some death or other on a military base, tend to be so similar and unspectacular they merge into a big muddle. While you don't necessarily see the solution to the whodunnit coming, you're actually not looking all that hard, because you don't actually care all that much. But Tracy's gift for turning a phrase and the solid writing put you in a forgiving mood. The weakest of the series is Naked She Died, the best by far is Death Calling Collect. Overall, I agree with the B-, but I like Giff enough to give the whole series a "B".


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