valentine_beau_bk_tb valentine_beau_bk_tdc
Full Name: Beau Valentine
Codename: Crawdad
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Joseph Heywood
Time Span: 1987 - 1992


Beau Valentine is an agent with the OSS.

With the unusual codename of Crawdad, Valentine is an interesting man as we learn before we actually meet him in the first recorded adventure. The time period for our introduction is the Second World War and the location of our eventual meeting is the mountains near the Adriatic Sea where this 'legend' of that American organization lived with the partisan team he had put together of both Italians and Yugoslavs.

I put the word 'legend' in quotes because we are told by another agent that "nobody in his right mind would relish" having to deal directly with Valentine. "It was universally agreed that Crawdad was the most unpredictable and unorthodox man in the ass [Not sure what that means]. When he was given a job to do, he did not care what rules he had to violate in order to finish it."

In today's vernacular, Valentine was known to not play nice with others, even his own people; "Valentine .. openly professed hatred for all OSS office personnel, except his own case officer". Most learned that if you were part of Valentine's personally picked team, you had a staunch brother-in-arms who would do anything to save you; if you were not, you did not matter.

A clear indication of this comes when an OSS agent needed to contact him while he was living in those Balkan mountains where Italy and Yugoslavia meet; said man injuring his leg and needing medical treatment. Valentine did the stitching up but only after he had placed bets with his fellow partisans as to how fast he could get the work done.

The first adventure we follow Valentine in takes place, as stated, during WWII. The second over a decade later as Valentine is living in New Orleans running a military surplus company doing a very lucrative business especially when CIA operators showed up at his back door needing off-the-books items. "It had been a lucrative arrangement; he made a nice profit, and the Company's selected clients received what they needed".

Sometimes what they needed was Valentine.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1987
Last Appearance:1992

1 The Berkut The Berkut
Written by Joseph Heywood
Copyright: 1987

The year is 1945. SS Colonel Gunter Brumm parachutes into the ruins of Berlin, evading Soviet troops. His goal is to smuggle 'Herr Wolf', the greatest criminal of the 20th Century, to freedom. Also coming to that city is Vasily Petrov, 'the Berkut', out to capture them instead. And working under his own orders is Beau Valentine of the OSS, one of the few Allied troops who knows who Herr Wolf really is.
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2 The Domino Conspiracy The Domino Conspiracy
Written by Joseph Heywood
Copyright: 1992

It is Autumn of 1960. " In Washington the Bay of Pigs invasion is in the final planning stages, and its timing is tied to the missing CIA agent. He must be found. Two teams, one from Russia and one from the United States, begin a desperate hunt that leads them on an inward spiral toward each other and to a lethal showdown at the 1961 summit in Vienna. There they find themselves in an uneasy alliance as they race to find the American renegade and the Albanian death team, both groups pawns in a global chess game."
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How is the reader supposed to like a character such as Beau Valentine who seems to be pretty unlikeable? I think the author did not particularly care if you did or not, as long as you enjoyed following him in his adventures and he got to tell a good story, which he certainly did. 

It was in the second adventure that I really got to taking a special interest in Valentine largely because I was mighty curious about his new career. The potential for exciting tales in that situation seemed vast and I was surprised that the author chose to not continue Valentine's saga.


My Grade: B


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