corby_sam_bk_dow corby_sam_bk_tkc
Full Name: Sam Corby
Nationality: British
Organization: CIA
Occupation Part-Time Agent

Creator: Ian Mitchell
Time Span: 1978 - 1980


Sam Corby is a part-time agent for the CIA.

He is British by birth so working for the American spy agency might seem strange but then again, it was work and it paid and Sam Corby is all about earning a living, one way or another. Unfortunately for him, doing the odd job for the Agency to make a living often brings him close to losing that life.

When we first meet him, he is living in Pakistan and doing his best to make a decent income. He is 41 years old and fairly conversant in Urdu and Hindustani, certainly enough to get by on. He describes himself as "practically unemployable" but at the particular moment he was picking up a nice paycheck from an American company selling, of all things, batteries. "My function was to unload as many as the market could absorb, then some more." This work took him all over that country though he was especially successful and knowledgeable about the northern region branching into Afghanistan and India as needed.

Corby has no interest in the highly dangerous, and admittedly frightening, world of espionage and the thought of getting so involved in the region around Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan in the late 70s through early 80s is so far from what he would want to be doing he would baulk at the suggestion. Unfortunately, a pushy self-described freelance reporter from America inveigled Corby's agreement to accompany Corby on his next sales run into the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region of Peshawar. And before Corby can even pack his bags for the upcoming trip, people are making some unpleasant and quite inaccurate assumptions about Corby's real motives and his true employers. Staying alive would mean making some of those false beliefs actually fact.

Good Line:
- To a man who just threatened him, Sam Corby says, "If your job's scaring people, you're not very good at it".
- Corby is chastised in a conversation by a man who admonishes him, "Don't try to be box clever, old boy. You haven't the equipment and I haven't the time".
- Regarding a friend in the first adventure, Donovan, who was suffering at the time: "He was a Muslim and Muslins don't drink. He was also part Irish; Irishmen do. He got no sympathy from me."


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1978
Last Appearance:1980

1 The Kabul Contract The Kabul Contract
Written by Ian Mitchell
Copyright: 1978

Three different people are interested in the same object and all three very much desire Sam Colby of all people to help them get it. One of those three is from the Agency. The object is the "Hair of the Prophet" and the mystery is which of those three might already have it and why Sam Colby is being pulled into the search since he definitely does not. Colby would happily walk away if he could but everyone promises he will die if he tries.

2 Dove Of War Dove Of War
Written by Ian Mitchell
Copyright: 1980

The Middle East that Sam Colby knows has changed drastically in a very short time. Soviets are in Kabul. Pakistan is under the control of the military. Iran is in turmoil with the ouster of the Shah.
The death of two American agents outside Istanbul will start a mission which will put Sam Colby working with two female terrorists to find and rescue several hundred innocent Jewish-Americans.


It was interesting reading these two books about Sam Corby because I really did not get a handle on whether the author really liked or could not stand Corby. He came across as an sort of honest, sort of dishonest fellow that you trust to lend your prized car but not leave alone with your wife. He would be the kind of chap you would lend a tenner to at a pub but even though you would never expect to see it again, you would wave goodbye to it with a grin. Good ole' Corby!

As an agent, he is a survivalist but he is also stubborn enough to be determined to get the job done, not out of loyalty but because he would hate to defeated.

The writing is solid and interesting and good enough to keep the reader reading but I never really connected and I went on to the second adventure largely because that is the sort of thing I do, not because I felt compelled to.


My Grade: B


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