Error in Books: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. Richard LeGrande - Spy Guys And Gals


Full Name: General Richard LeGrande
Nationality: American
Organization: Genops
Occupation Spymaster

Creator: Irwin R. Blacker
Time Span: 1960 - 1967


       Richard LeGrande is a spymaster with the American intelligence organization known as GENOPS.
       GENOPS is an amalgam for General Operations, a very secret part of the intel community formed in the late 50's and tasked with "covert violence - guerrilla warfare, sabotage, assassination and other unpleasant activities." It is treated much like a pariah by the other more respectable governmental agencies, including the CIA, and it is often finding itself in danger of being dismantled or absorbed by the bigger boys. Then very nasty events around the world would remind the higher powers how important having a group like GENOPS is to a country that wants to play nice but which has to deal with many groups who do not.
       Leading GENOPS since its beginning is Major General LeGrande, a man in his early 50's with hair just now showing the signs of aging but with a physique not yet affected and a mind that keen enough to keep many operations around the world straight and ongoing. LeGrande was a retired military commander who had learned the horrors of war first hand during WWII. It was there that he received his first star, being informed of the promotion during a conflagration in which he was the youngest divisional commander in the field. He earned his second star when he was brought home from Korea, a vote of confidence and a thanks for excellent service.
       Helping him run the department are several highly capable people who had earned their own share of medals and commendations. Highest on this list would be Janet Garner. While she had not served in combat, she had earned her unofficial rank through years of dedicated work in the halls and offices of Washington's bureaucracy and it was said that no one understood how to deal with that nefarious underground world quite as well as Garner. She was GENOPS personnel officer and close advisor to LeGrande on all matters of operation. She had been such since the creation of the department and had been LeGrande's mistress for nearly as long.
       The highly select group of operatives who worked for GENOPS and LeGrande dealt with problems all over the world. In the four published adventures, the regions of action included North Vietnam, Afghanistan, East Germany, and several African nations. News of the activities of these people could not be released to the general public because the U.S. was not supposed to do such things but they were done and under LeGrande's strict guidance, they were done well.


       The series was written by a master storyteller who knew better than most the importance of pacing, character development, and having a compelling plot with dangers exciting enough to keep the reader turning the next page. This makes the fact that he is almost totally unknown 50 years later such a surprise. I certainly did not know of him until my research unexpectedly uncovered him and his fascinating spymaster, LeGrande.
       Since LeGrande did not become a household name, I am assuming the author was busy practicing his craft with television and movie screenplays but it is a pity that such an interesting man as LeGrande is such an unknown.
       These books are very enjoyable spycraft adventures with the politics of D.C. playing as important a role as the back alleys of East Berlin. LeGrande is a good man but he is also a hard man who has to send people into areas from which he knows they are likely not to return. He does not send them quickly or carelessly but he does send them.


My Grade: A-


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