Full Name: John Allison
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Businessman

Creator: Richard Meade
Time Span: 1967 - 1969

       John Allison is an arms dealer.
       While he does experience occasional setbacks in business, for the most part he has proven quite successful and makes a very good living selling armaments to different countries. Not only does he usually have the agreement of the American government for his trades, many of them are at their request. When the CIA in particular wants to ensure that a banana republic or rebel force has enough firepower to promote their agenda, it is often to Allison they go to broker the deal and handle the footwork. For that reason, he has small but profitable offices in several big cities around the U.S. and Europe.
       But sometimes there are factors that don't like his business. Between peaceniks and those on the other side of his clients, Allison has to know how to use his merchandise even better than the purchasers. And he does, again thanks to the CIA, though not for that reason.
       At the end of WWII, Allison, serving in the Army in region of Hungary, fell in love with the area and kept in touch with those he fought with there. When the CIA, under orders from the government, looked for volunteers to go help rouse the Hungarians against the Iron Curtain control, he stepped forward. Two years of intense training in languages as well as covert operations followed before he was sent into Hungary to help them win their independence. When the Russians moved in and the promised American aid never came, he watched the slaughter of hundreds before barely getting out.
       Now with that experience, he often works with and sometimes on behalf of the CIA but his distrust is never far away.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1969

1 The Danube Runs Red The Danube Runs Red
Written by Richard Meade
Copyright: 1967

The 15,000 rifles he sold to India with the permission of the U.S. government ended up in other hands and the CIA tells John Allison he either gets them back or he's out of business for good.

2 The Lost Fraulein The Lost Fraulein
aka A Score Of Arms
Written by Richard Meade
Copyright: 1969

Even as he tries to figure what he's going to do with a few old Sherman tanks, John Allison runs into an old military buddy, now a general in an African nation, who needs help arming his forces. Others don't want it to happen.


       I didn't hold much hope for the series when I learned the basic concept was following an arms dealer. And the first book being about his having to get back a thousand rifles he wasn't supposed to have, well, I had sincere doubts.
       But I forced myself to read it and was glad I did. Allison is an alright guy. The two adventures are very entertaining, the descriptions of Austria and the surrounding regions are almost as good as a travelogue, and the character is someone you could like.
       Then it dawned on me that if I could enjoy a series where the protagonist is an assassin, and there are several, it seems rather odd if I turned my nose up on the man who sold him the weapon.


My Grade: B

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