SILAS MANNERS

 
Full Name: Silas Manner
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: James Moffatt
Time Span: 1970 - 1971
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Silas Manners is an agent for British Intelligence.
       The exact department for which he works is never specified. In the first of the two-book series, Manners is working as part of a multinational task force dubbed N.A.D.A. (an acronym not spelled out) which was a pooling of intelligence resources from the U.S., U.K., Canada, and others. His role in that force is more of a free agent really answerable only to the President and Prime Minister though he does cooperate and work closely with an American agent. In the second book, he is back home working for his own people. Whatever the department, its newly appointed interim leader is a man who has considerable distaste for men of Manners' ilk and would love to see such people long gone from the community.
       Manners appears to be a throwback, in many people's minds, a man who will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. He can engage in playful banter if it is called for but he can just as quickly grab a man by the collar, throw him against the wall, and convince him cooperation is in order. He has killed a larger than average number of enemy operatives in his tenure; though he does not enjoy it nor desire it, he does not hesitate when it seems his life or the other guy's. He chooses his life without a pause.
       The age of the agent is never mentioned but the references to the many years of service clearly makes Manners in his mid to late 30's. He is unmarried and has no serious attachment, knowing that his schedule would never allow it and feeling no apparent loss for not having one. He appreciates a beautiful woman but those he meets in his line of work are more apt to be out to kill him than woo him. He allows the latter but the former.
       A hard man when needed, Manners notes in one event that he had to be "above mortal emotions" to get his job done. He is hardly an automaton as he can laugh at a good joke, drink sociably, mingle politely, and otherwise exist in any urbane situation. He can also, with a moment's hesitation, strike out with his expert martial arts skills and render an opponent unconscious or worse.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1970
Last Appearance:1971

1 The Cambri Plot The Cambri Plot
aka The Sleeping Bomb
Written by James Moffatt
Copyright: 1970

Hitler's plan had been to have the Parasitic Bomb transported by U-Boat to New York harbor and set it off, destroying much of the Eastern seaboard. The sub made it to America but never set it off. Now it has been found at the bottom of the Hudson and it can still detonate.

2 Justice For A Dead Spy Justice For A Dead Spy
Written by James Moffatt
Copyright: 1971

The new acting head of the department wants Manners sacked, or put behind a desk, as the body count keeps rising but Manners has the blessing of the Minister as he seeks to get justice and he did not care who got in his way.

MY COMMENTS

       The writing styles of the two books are quite dissimilar despite only having a year between them. The first is told from a third-person perspective while the second is a mixture of chapters in the third-person showing what others are doing when Manners is not around and chapters in the first-person as Manners explains what he is doing and why. Of the two, the latter is by far the more enjoyable. Manners comes across as obviously a hard man with a hard job to do but he definitely has his personal moral code and those who stray from it feel his displeasure.
       Most of Mr. Moffatt's published works were either of a pulp nature or a sexploitation one, whether it was about the rebellious teen known not so affectionately as Skinhead, about which he wrote several books which sold amazingly well, or about the sex-loving female agent Virginia Box in the Girl from H.A.R.D. books. According to one online site, the two books about Silas Manners were the ones he felt most mainstream and about which he was happiest. I can understand why, having read one of the Skinhead's and all three of the Box's. The Manners books are a lot better and I actually would have liked more.
       Manners comes across, to me at least, as a British Joe Gall, rough and tough and ready for any action be it in a boudoir or a dark alley.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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