Tarp2 tarp3 Tarp1
Full Name: Tarp
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: George Bartram
Time Span: 1983 - 1989


Tarp is an agent with the CIA.

He was, at least, for far more years than he likes to think about, before he decided he had had enough of the baloney and the double dealing and the killing and stepped away. As the two-book series opens, he is living in an isolated house along the water border between the U.S. and Canada in the upper northeast and deeply enjoying the seclusion. He is not happy, so he claims, when his old life comes calling to him for more work but then he gives in fairly quickly so perhaps the peace was a tad too serene and quiet was a bit too loud.

In the opening of the first book, the history of Tarp seems a tad confusing as an old mentor and would-be employer, a former head of the British MI5, comes to call and talks about trying to recruit him. But Tarp's bosses during his many years being an operative was the Agency. There is no doubt, though, that his friendship with this aged spymaster goes back quite a few decades.

Back when he was an operative, he worked all over the world in many of the various hotspots his employers needed people to represent it but his biggest area of expertise was without a doubt China and his ability to act in that oriental nation is impressive considering he is Occidental. He understands the Chinese attitudes and methods and this knowledge kept him alive far more years than most in his field.

As the adventures progress, it also becomes clear that the number of enemies he has made is impressive as he was very good at his job but even many of those who would have happily killed him if the opportunity came respected Tarp for being so good for so long.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1983
Last Appearance:1989

1 The Sunset Gun The Sunset Gun
Written by George Bartram
Copyright: 1983

A British scientist who defected to China many years before has likely perfected a particle beam weapon which could destroy the balance of power. Tarp is asked by a former MI-5 head to go there to find the truth and get the weapon out of his hands.

2 Under The Freeze Under The Freeze
Written by George Bartram
Copyright: 1984

For years Tarp has worked in opposition to the KGB but now he is asked to work with them to track down a very large amount of stolen plutonium. Working with him is a beautiful female KGB agent who is dangerous in several ways.

3 The Sun Is Bleeding The Sun Is Bleeding
Written by George Bartram
Copyright: 1989

Tarp is an ex-agent now but is still brought in to investigate the murder of the U.S. Research Bureau. He knows from the very beginning he is being manipulated but he is not certain by whom. Tarp being who he is, he is not easily manipulated.


It is a bit confusing who Tarp worked for, at first. CIA, sure. but then he gets a visit from a former MI-5 leader talking about his almost working for them. You get past the "huh" pretty fast, though, as the action will not let you ponder anything too long and that is one thing any good action series needs - action. With Tarp, you get it. You do not get a first name but you do get action.

The listed author, George Bartram, is a pseudonym for Kenneth Cameron, the man who joined with his son to be Gordon Kent, author of the Alan Craik series. That is not to say that there is much of the Tarp character in Craik. There is not and that is fine. Both characters are unique enough to stand on their own. I do wish that Mr. Bartram/Cameron had written more about Tarp. I liked what I had and would not have minded more. Of course, if he were still writing Tarp, I might not have Craik.

I am greedy, though. I would like both.

Do not mess with Tarp, by the way. With Craik you might be able to talk your way out of trouble. With Tarp, you would like get a punch in the nose, and never see it coming until it connected. Tarp is like that. Fast and efficient and basically no-nonsense.


My Grade: A-


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