Sten_Nick1 Sten_Nick2
Full Name: Nick Sten
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Other - Doctor

Creator: Marshall Goldberg
Time Span: 1972 - 1986


Nick Sten is a surgeon.

A man in his late 40's, at least, as he had served in the military as a physician in the Korean action twenty years before the first book in the series. He is happily married with two children at or near adult age and he is the lead surgeon at a prominent hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Specializing in heart problems, his biggest claim to fame thus far, and the reason he finds himself involved in the cloak and dagger world is his invention of the "gas gun".

Written at least a decade before plaque build up in the arteries became a fashionable subject, but one which doctors clearly were already treating, the first novel describes the gas gun as a tool used to remove fat deposits from the arteries of living patients with very poor circulation. While Sten is credited with its invention, he modestly corrects people by saying he merely took an existing tool and altered its use for his needs. Nevertheless, it made Sten rather famous in his line of work.

It also brought him to the attention of a major KGB official, General Bogdanov, who needed someone to help restore the rapidly failing health of a key Soviet scientist. It was Sten who was formally requested to assist in this man's survival. Since the scientist was a vital player in the antimissile defense research that the Russians were undertaking, this contact of Sten also came to the attention of the CIA. The first book dealth with the machinations of both sides as one strove to keep the scientist alive while the other side wished for the other result, and Sten was stuck in the middle.

The second and final adventure deals with the disappearance, over a decade later, of a Soviet scientist in New York and the efforts of Bogdanov to find him even as the CIA goes on the same hunt. When Bogdanov suffers a major medical emergency, it is Sten that is asked to save the aging spy master's life and again the Agency has other wishes and Sten is once more caught in a place he does not want to be.

In this series, one might have chosen Sten as the protagonist but one could just as easily have picked Bogdanov because the man plays as important, if not more so, role in the adventures. Since the dramas are medical in their essence, it is Sten who was picked.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1986

1 Karamanov Equations, The Karamanov Equations, The
aka A Deadly Operation
Written by Marshall Goldberg
Copyright: 1972

When the lead Soviet physicist, working on a major antimissile system that could render the US nukes largely obsolete, goes into a coma from a blocked artery, a KGB general makes the stunning decision to ask the leading US surgeon, Nick Sten, to save the man's life, even as the CIA wants the man to never wake up.

2 Intelligence Intelligence
Written by Marshall Goldberg
Copyright: 1986

KGB General Bogdanov is on the trail of a missing Russian scientist who had disappeared while visiting New York City. The CIA are also seeking this young and brilliant mind. As the action gets heavy, Bogdanov is stricken and needs the skills of Nick Sten, his old opponent, to survive.


The closing statement in About the Series regarding Bogdanov being a very important character is definitely the case but even more so is the fact that he is the more interesting. He certainly has the most to lose should things go wrong. Both characters suffer the danger of death but Bogdanov knows that failure would mean, if not death, the loss of prestige and position. He had worked very hard to get where he was only to lose it.

The series is half spy and half medical. Depending on the mood of the reader, the other side might drag a bit but the author was good enough to not really dwelll too long on the one before bring the other in.

Nick Sten is not really brought out as much as I thought he could have been. He comes across, as many doctors do in movies and on television, a bit above it all which is a shame. I think he had more interesting things to talk about than he lets out.


My Grade: B


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