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RED RADFORD

 
Full Name: Hugh "Red" Radford
Nationality: British
Organization: Interpol
Occupation Agent

Creator: John Robb
Time Span: 1960 - 1961

ABOUT THE SERIES

Hugh 'Red' Radford is an agent of Interpol.

British by birth and proud of it, Radford's employment is described as "special agent attached to the British Bureau of the International Police", aka Interpol. For heroism in action, Radford had been awarded the Military Cross some time before we first meet him and when we do run across him in the first of three recorded adventures, he has been with Interpol for apparently some time. This is based on his reputation, the fact that he is known all over Europe, and because he is asked for by name.

The sobriquet he is known by, though its use is not actually employed that much, "Red", comes to him naturally and obviously by simply looking at his hair, a "fiery" red. Throw in his bright blue eyes and you have a face that attracts attention. It is described as a lean, pleasant face, normally sporting "an easy-going and slightly lazy expression, which had misled so many people".

That look of relaxed attitude can and does change when he gets into a tussle, something that happens fairly often. At such occasions, his countenance switches to steely earnestness and his smooth gliding movements turn rock solid. He is a crack shot, more than competent in a knife fight and "by any ordinary standards, Radford was a master of unarmed combat...He had never yet encountered anyone who had got the better of him in any sort of hand-to-hand encounter." The latter he proves on several occasions.

Radford is a student, apparently, of languages for he speaks several fluently, including more than a couple of Arabic dialects. He is at home in the deserts of North Africa as he is in the streets of London and he is ready to be sent wherever and whenever there is trouble brewing.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1960
Last Appearance:1961

       When I look at the original covers, I am torn between classifying them as Young Adult or not. When I read them, I moved to the "not" side because the prose just does not feel like they were written for the juvenile market. Of course, I have been (and will be again) wrong many times so who knows. If you do, drop a comment.

       Though the books came out in the early 60s, I did not know about them until a new series of adventure stories were just released by New Ebook Library under the heading of, well, Adventure Stories. They have the tag line of "The story lives on - hard hitting and hot tales". I hope the company keeps this sort of entertainment rescue coming. I bought my copies and look forward to more of their offerings.

MY COMMENTS

Leaning towards Young Adult as I am for the type of books these are even though I put them under Adult Books, I look first at how much I enjoyed them as a slightly older than a young adult (okay quite a bit older) which is a good amount. I certainly did not regret any time spent reading them and that is always a plus. Then I try to imagine if I were 13-16 and would I like them, especially if I consider I would have read them back in the 1960s and I have to say I would really have liked them.

Radford is a solid operative who gets into several interesting jams and has to go through several hoops to get out. The pacing is solid and good and the reader is drawn along with Radford. I would not have minded another couple of adventures.

GRADE

My Grade: B

Your Average Grade:   A+

YOUR OPINIONS

Stephen K A+ 2021-03-01

I first read Red radford and The Black legion in about 1965 when I was about 10. I still have my hardcopy version. I recently re-read it and agree that it is very mature.. It''s a great novel.


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