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LAMBETH GROUP

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Full Name: Gavin Shawlens and Zoe Tampsin
Nationality: American
Organization: Lambeth Group
Occupation Agency

Creator: Gordon Bickerstaff
Time Span: 2012 - 2021

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Lambeth Group is a private intelligence organization.

That is almost certainly an inaccuracy but coming up with a quick one-liner to explain it has proven challenging. Luckily the author of the recorded adventures about this group, and more particularly two of its operatives, provided in the first of those tales a short but descriptive explanation.

"During the early 1990s, rapid progress in technology brought increased public fears that science would gallop out of control. UK politicians became concerned science and technology could damage business, and endanger human life.

"The Lambeth Group came into being when a group of twenty-six university vice-chancellors, from elite universities met secretly with Home Office mandarins at the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, to formulate a covert doomwatch policing strategy for protection of the country from criminal, unethical, unprincipled scientists, and technologists.

"Sir Christopher Aden-Brown, Group leader, is based in the Peel Building at the Home Office in Marsham Street, London. He provides expert liaison and counsel between the Home Office and university vice-chancellors in the UK and Commonwealth."

That description goes on to give background information on those two operatives mentioned before:

Gavin Shawlens, bioscience investigator, joined the Lambeth Group six years ago. As a natural cover agent, Gavin uses his genuine profession as cover for clandestine work. In return for his expertise on investigations, he receives funding for his enzyme technology research team. A loner, reluctant, skeptical, and lacking confidence in spy business. Gavin is the least experienced link in the team.

Zoe Tampsin is an ex-army captain, and section leader for the Security Service (MI5). She served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and successfully completed undercover security operations at home and various hotspots abroad. Her CO wrote into her record; 'Zoe Tampsin protects her troop like a lioness protecting her cubs, powerful, determined, and completely ruthless.'

A very telling comment is made in one of the later books regarding the working relationship between sometime Lambeth Group operative Gavin Shawlens and his occasional boss in that organization, Zoe Tampsin: "They were friends, but ... Before she joined the Lambeth Group, the work he did for them didn't stretch him and didn't put him in danger." The upshot of that line is that once she appeared in the picture in the first adventure, his life is constantly being in peril.

Even more telling is: "The jobs he did with Zoe gave him nightmares."

Since there have been a lot of jobs, that is a wide array of bad dreams.

Good Line:
- Tag line for one of the adventures: "If you fear trouble, don't get into trouble".

BOOKS

Number of Books:9
First Appearance:2012
Last Appearance:2021

1 Deadly Secrets Deadly Secrets
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2012

"The truth will out…
Gavin's life will be turned upside down. He joins a company to work on a product that will revolutionize the food industry. His initial gut instinct is to walk away until he discovers one of the company directors is the former love of his teenage life. The financial implications are global and incredible. Powerful individuals and countries are prepared to kill as they compete to seize control of the company. Corruption at high levels, a deadly flaw in the product, and the stakes jump higher and higher. Against overwhelming odds, Gavin must rescue his former love from the hands of an evil cult as they prepare her for a living nightmare."
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2 Everything To Lose Everything To Lose
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2015

"While chasing down illegal sports drugs, Gavin and Zoe stumble into the greatest unresolved mystery of World War 2. University researchers claim their new product will boost the performance of every athlete in the world. The Lambeth Group send a scientist, Gavin Shawlens, to investigate the claim. The product is stolen, top athletes disappear, and the research team are unaware that their product has a dangerous side effect. Gavin must stop the product launch before more people die horribly. When Gavin disappears, Zoe Tampsin, from the Lambeth Group, must find him before he becomes the next victim. As if Zoe hasn't got enough on her plate. Past events in Gavin's life catch up with him. A powerful US general has decided that Gavin must die to prevent exposure of a 60-year-old secret capable of world-changing and power-shifting events."
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3 The Black Fox The Black Fox
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2015

Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission. She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin's mind that the CIA want destroyed. As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe's former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin's secret will shut. 
Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.
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4 Toxic Minds Toxic Minds
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2016

"'There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other' - Madeleine Albright
The damage is done… Alexa Sommer had it all - then came meltdown, and divorce as she is forced out of her job. Desperately, she tries to reconnect with her family and rebuild her life in a new job. But her work is controversial, and her enemies plan to stop her by any means. Alexa's new colleagues have a compelling reason to want her sacked. Gavin Shawlens is a colleague, and he is all Alexa has on her side as a perfect storm of dreadful nightmares bear down on her."
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5 Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2017

"Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, prepare to investigate the unusual death of a government defense scientist. Someone is determined to stop them before they get started. Zoe uncovers two unfamiliar words, Tabula Rasa. The only other clue is the curious behavior of the dead scientist's son, Ramsay. Posing as a couple, Gavin and Zoe enter the secret and dangerous world of Ramsay's aristocratic guardians, headed by philanthropist billionaire, Lord Zacchary Silsden. What Gavin uncovers, shocks him to the bottom of his soul. Does he have the courage and the conviction to stop the greatest revolution in human history?"
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6 Tears Of Fire Tears Of Fire
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2018

"Two serial killers have been getting away with murder for years. For them, it's a well-paid hobby while they bide their time. It's about to stop when everything slots into place for them to leap to the next level. Payback for the people who killed their parents. Lambeth Group investigator, Gavin Shawlens, is on their trail. But all is not as it seems and he is pushed way out of his depth when the killers turn on his family. Gavin's Lambeth Group partner, Zoe Tampsin, is cut off from him and fighting her own battle to stay alive."
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7 Die Every Day Die Every Day
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2020

"A woman is murdered in a Glasgow city hotel room. Police have everything they need to charge a suspect. Caught at the scene, he confessed, and he's filled with guilt and remorse. With undeniable evidence; the police expect him to plead guilty. Rumours suggest the man will plead not guilty and tell his story. If he faces trial, the truth will cause international outrage and the government will fall. Faceless mandarins in corridors of power are determined he will remain silent. Lambeth Group agent, Zoe Tampsin, is ordered to make him plead guilty. What she discovers will crush her soul and place her next in line to be murdered. Who is pulling the strings? What secrets are they hiding?"
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8 The Belgravia Sanction The Belgravia Sanction
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2020

"In a remote Scottish cottage, two men and two women die from gunshot wounds. Police believe one killed the other three before committing suicide. One of the four worked undercover for the Lambeth Group, and his team leader is missing. To find out what happened, a second team will follow the bread crumbs. Led by Zoe Tampsin, they expose a terrorist group operating in plain sight. An attack is imminent. It will destroy the special relationship between the UK and the USA. Zoe and her team prepare to stop them. Unaware of a deep-seated traitor, determined to stop her at any cost."
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9 Extreme Prejudice Extreme Prejudice
Written by Gordon Bickerstaff
Copyright: 2021

"A foreign embassy official warns the UK government of a bomb attack on London. Zoe Tampsin’s Lambeth Group team is launched into a race against time to find the terrorists. As Zoe unpicks the details, she suspects the informant didn’t tell her the whole story. With time running out, her team chase a promising lead only to have it wrenched from their grasp. Either the bombers were incredibly lucky, or they received a tip-off."
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MY COMMENTS

I love the fact that whenever Zoe Tampsin shows up where Gavin Shawlens is at, he just sort of figuratively closes his eyes and shakes his head. He knows that the visit is not going to bode well for him.

Shawlens is by no means a coward, which the author shows many times over, but you can just read his thoughts, "What now!?"

And yet we the reader know she is going to get him to take the assignment and he is going to have a bunch of people trying very hard to kill him and we are going to have a really enjoyable read ahead of us.


GRADE

My Grade: B+

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