Full Name: Brian Douglas
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Reporter - Photo-Journalist

Creator: John Lee
Time Span: 1968 - 1971

       Brian Douglas is a photo-journalist.
       An American, Douglas has almost acquired an ex-patriate status in Spain where he makes his home. He speaks and hears the language as a native though reading it still slows him down. He did not set out to be away from his native country as long as he ended up being but life in Spain was invariably good and a man could live comfortably there on the American dollars he earned, if he did not go crazy. To Douglas at the start of the series, crazy would have meant brandy instead of sangria.
       Douglas liked to drink. He was good at it. It did not consume his life but it took more than its share of his time. When he was not drinking or thinking of drinking or trying to recover from the previous night's drinking, he took pictures and sold them to magazines and news organizations, mostly in the States. Back there he had an agent who sort of remembered his name and the money that trickled in kept him in the sangria, and once in a blue moon, a shot of brandy.
       Douglas, in his mid 30's, had an ex-wife back home that he thought of once in a while and an eye for lovely ladies that more times than he really deserved rewarded him with favors. He was, to give him credit, a decent man who treated his women fondly and fairly but when the inevitable breakup came, he usually found solace in any pair of arms soon enough.
       One thing Douglas was not was overly curious. Nor would anyone call him exceptionally brave. He did not particularly want to work hard for the big story. It just forced its way into his hands, twice, and both times he found his energies spent trying to stay alive and not seeking the truth. But Douglas was also not a coward or a sop and when he got pushed into too many corners, he pushed back. And got the story.
       It is the stories that he got that earns him entry in the collection of spies for the two documented cases deal with government coups, Soviet spies, intrigue, and plenty of mayhem. And a chance to take pictures that could earn Douglas an income if they did not get him killed.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1971

1 Caught In The Act Caught In The Act
Written by John Lee
Copyright: 1968

Down to his last few dollars in Madrid, Brian Douglas takes pictures of people on the street hoping for something someone will buy. A group of men standing solemnly talking seemed extra special and he made sure he took their picture. They seemed upset about that.

2 Assignation In Algeria Assignation In Algeria
Written by John Lee
Copyright: 1971

Again needing money, Douglas jumps on an assignment to go to Algeria on a photo shoot only to find his girl friend has run off there with his competitor. As he looks for her, he finds himself faced with angry Algerians, angry Russians, and someone who wants to destroy the American Sixth Fleet.


       Down-on-your-luck stories, especially when they start with the "hero" down to his last few bucks wondering how much he could spend on booze, make me nervous. Certainly this series did when I started it. I was determined to see it through and I was pleased that I did as the author has a good way with him in presenting interesting characters to interact with Douglas and the plots are very plausible. I had been stationed in Spain just a couple of years after the times described in the books and felt at home with the surroundings years later when I read the books. The nervousness he faced when dealing with the Guardia Civil was not unlike a time or two when they approached me. Serious-faced officials with semi-automatic weapons make me very respectful.
       I enjoyed the books. I do not know if I liked Douglas or not but had we met in a bar in the south of Spain, I am sure we would have shared a glass or two (okay, a pitcher or two) of sangria and swapped war stories. His would have been better.


My Grade: B-

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