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Full Name: Sam Abel
Series Name: Whispers and Shadows Spy Series
Codename: 505
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Clarke Mayer
Time Span: 2022 - 2023


Sam Abel is an agent with American Intelligence.

Do not look for a better explanation of what agency or bureau or department of the American Intelligence community in specific that he works for because it is improbable you will find one. Certainly Abel gives no indication he knows for sure but then again, it is likely that Abel would not care one way or the other.

The time frame for the activities we have to follow of Abel is the days leading up to and into the Second World War. We first meet him just outside his small apartment in Brooklyn, carrying a couple of grocery bags, as he realizes someone who did not belong was in his humble residence. Abel knew the visitor was a stranger because the few people he knew would not have been so foolish as to intrude unannounced.

Which is why Abel figured the intruder was just a burglar; this misconception being put to rest when the man inside indicated he was there to have a chat. Moreover, the man was polite enough to inquire by which name Abel would prefer to be addressed - if not Abel then perhaps Stein or Abelson. "Though Sam had done well in ditching his previous identities, this man seemed to have him pegged."

The intruder would be thought of by Abel from that moment as 'the burned man' due to his appearance; scarring on his cheek, a patch of hair missing near the temple, and the skin around there red and misshapen. "He had suffered a severe burn and lived to tell the tale". Abel would learn much, much later that the burned man was named Hank Brandt but by then thinking of him just as the burned man seemed normal.

Brandt was bringing to Abel an offer of a job and with it, a chance to make his identity legitimate and not just an alias to use for a while before moving to a new city or even country and becoming someone else for a time.

When Abel inquires as to who the man's employer is that can do such a thing, the burned man says simply, "That's irrelevant" and apparently it was because neither seemed concerned about it enough to bring it up again. He knew then that he was going to work for the burned man, making use of his "very special skills" - namely, espionage.

Abel is described as being "a handsome man - tall, fit, and his hypnotizing blue eyes made him quite popular with the single women in the neighborhood. A good head of thick black hair didn't hurt. There was a natural wave in his scalp. He was muscular, but not bulky. There was something callous about the eyes". Some people who would make an enemy of Abel would learn that it was not just the eyes that could be callous.

Good Lines:
- About a man Abel was investigating, "Moreno was a handsome man, and well-liked by his ... contacts who knew no better".


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2022
Last Appearance:2023

1 The Shadows Of Might The Shadows Of Might
Written by Clarke Mayer
Copyright: 2022

"A German defector, the enigmatic Sigrid Lang, has conferred slivers of information to British spies embedded in Pforzheim: whispers of the secret weapon known as Erdschlag. Sam must bring her to safety before she will give up all that she knows. Fearing that the massive tank is near completion, Sigrid has warned those who can aid her that it will soon leave its home and point its barrel at London. And capable of blowing Sam's cover at any moment is Lothar Eichler, bested by Sam during their first rendezvous and now seeing saboteurs in every face. The fearsome man will stop at nothing to ensure his project elevates his stature in the regime."
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2 Everywhere And Nowhere Everywhere And Nowhere
Written by Clarke Mayer
Copyright: 2022

"After narrowly escaping death in Germany, he’s returned home to the nation’s capitol to play a different kind of spy game. Tasked with stealing secrets stateside, Sam must lurk in the shadows once more to obtain valuable information hidden at foreign embassies in D.C.
He’s not alone. Working closely with him behind the scenes is Cat McAlister, a thief playing the part of Washington D.C. debutante."
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3 A Taste of Vengeance A Taste of Vengeance
Written by Clarke Mayer
Copyright: 2023

"Hank Brandt has received information no spy chief ever wants to hear: one of his operatives has disappeared, and with him, valuable intelligence about a Nazi rocket program. This threat grows more dangerous by the day as Brandt rushes to gain information about its operations and hopefully, its weaknesses. But he can't put the pieces of the failed operation back together alone, and calls upon his most cultivated spy, Sam Abel."
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Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2022
Last Appearance:2022

1 A Whisper In The Oaks A Whisper In The Oaks
Written by Clarke Mayer
Copyright: 2022

"Intel points to a meeting regarding a very dangerous project-one that could turn the tide of the Second World War. A private meeting of powerful men has been set deep in the woods of Upstate New York at a Prohibition-era liquor smuggling lodge known as The Whispering Oak.
Sam's particular brand of espionage skills will come in handy. He must penetrate The Whispering Oak and discover the nature of the meeting. If he is successful, he could finally have the quiet life he seeks, but if he is caught, his recruiters will disavow all knowledge of him, and worse still, his targets will kill him."
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2 Cold-Blooded Cold-Blooded
Written by Clarke Mayer
Copyright: 2022

Sam Abel is not in this adventure but it is part of the author's Whispers and Shadows spy series and in his words serves "as a bridge between books and introduced some new characters which will return".
"Roger Fowler’s time as a spy has come to an end. In Nazi Germany, the hunters are relentless, and even the best operators are at risk of being caught. When his enemies come knocking at his door, Roger has no choice but to surrender.
Now compromised, Roger is fearful of his ability to withstand torture and interrogation. The infamous spy hunter Aksel Falke, commonly known as Der Fänger , aims to test him. Word has traveled about Falke’s uniquely terrifying interrogation methods—and the results they yield."
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I have made this comment about a couple other series in this compendium but trust me when I say not many. Reading Clarke Meyer's tales about Sam Abel is like sipping a fine brandy late in the day. The words flow past my eyes like that wonderful beverage used to cross my tastebuds, leaving me considerable pleasure for their passage.

You have to be a bit careful with these pages, though, because on the surface they look like another spy thriller - and they are. But they are also filled with wonderful observations and comments that often deserve to be reread just to be enjoyed even more.

The plots are very interesting. The characters rich and well worth meeting - even the bad 'uns. And the writing is terrific.

As of this writing, I have enjoyed the opening novella and two books. In an afterword by the author in the second of these books, he promises, "Sam Abel will return..."

I sincerely hope so.


My Grade: A


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