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

Creator: John Robb
Time Span: 1960 - 1961


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.


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.

1 Red Radford and the Black Legion Red Radford and the Black Legion
aka Black Legion
Written by John Robb
Copyright: 1960

Red Radford is asked to take the cover as a Foreign Legion officer and travel to the Sahara to investigate reports of the Legion attacking a native village. What he finds is a plot by an East European nation to use the desert as the launch site for nuclear attacks on key North African cities.
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2 Red Radford and Operation Kidnap Red Radford and Operation Kidnap
aka Operation Kidnap
Written by John Robb
Copyright: 1961

Dr. Wodz is a genius who has come up with a way to eliminate the radiation that comes after an atomic attack. His discovery is desired by many nations so three foreign agents sneak into England to grab him. The night of the snatch, Red Radford is visiting the scientist and is taken along with him.
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3 Red Radford and the Iron Guard Red Radford and the Iron Guard
aka The Iron Guard
Written by John Robb
Copyright: 1961

In the European nation of Byravia, Red Radford witnesses a man being grabbed by authorities. The man, named Wilks, claims to be British but he is ignored. Radford is curious why and then is approached by a group of dissidents to join in the rescue of Wilks before he is executed.
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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.


My Grade: B

Your Average Grade:   A+


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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