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KEN ROWE

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Full Name: Ken Rowe
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Mike Symons
Time Span: 2018 - 2023

ABOUT THE SERIES

Ken Rowe is an agent with MI6.

The period of time we follow Rowe's activities in immediate days before the Second World War and then well into it and Rowe shows he is a man who can adapt to a wide variety of places and situations and somehow, barely at times, survive.

I would like to say that Rowe is an operative in good standing with his superiors in the organization but he and they would all look askance at such a statement. Rowe is a darned good agent and gets the job done - that is to his favor and a fact not gainsaid by those bosses. He is also often on the rogue side of things as he likes to do things his way and for Rowe, that means he does them. I get the impression that as much as his immediate supervisor would not mind sacking Rowe, he would probably prefer to throttle him first.

Rowe is an interesting case in contradictions. We have his independent streak as mentioned above which has to speak strongly for his self-confidence but that is different than his day-to-day life. We are told in one place that "the only time he felt truly confident was when out on the front line, or more accurately for him, operating behind enemy lines. In the field, he was self-assured, he was charming, dangerous, everything a spy should be. However, back at home, despite ... all he achieved in the field, he was shy, retiring, and self-conscious."

This bit of inferiority likely comes from his lower-class upbringing. His father was killed in Yrpes in 1917 when he was just a toddler. He was an only child, raised by his widowed mother in London's East End. From that small piece of information, it is logical to assume that he grew up having very little and likely always aware as he went to school that he was not "as good as" most of the other children. It is to his credit that once he found a niche as he did in the Security Service, he became as skilled and qualified as he is.

Rowe is 29 years old when we meet him in the first recorded adventure and has been with MI6 for nearly a decade.

BOOKS

Number of Books:9
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2023

1 Edward Edward
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2018

It is November, 1936,
Ken Rowe is pulled back to the UK from his current assignment in Spain to assist to finding the person behind a threat to the new King of England, Edward VIII, whose fascist leanings are causing a stir. Rowe will come to learn the chief danger is from an assassin out to get revenge for murdered Jewish people.
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2 Rache Rache
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2019

It is September, 1937.
Ken Rowe is out for revenge for the death of someone he thought he could save and to get that vengeance he heads to Germany. There he will come into contact with anti-Nazi fighters and a plot to kill an SS officer. He knows he has to choose between his career and getting that revenge.
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3 Phoney Phoney
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2019

It is September, 1939.
War are begun between the UK and Germany. Ken Rowe is again back in enemy territory as he goes on a mission to save two fellow agents wanted for an attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler.
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4 Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2020

It is January, 1940.
A plane crashes in what is still neutral Belgium; onboard is a Major carrying plans for the invasion of Western Europe. Ken Rowe is pulled from an important mission in South America to head to Belgium and obtain those plans which have found their way into the hands of that country's King Leopold.
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5 Dynamo Dynamo
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2020

It is May, 1940.
As the British Expeditionary Force races to evacuate the Continent at Dunkirk, Ken Rowe is tasked with doing everything he can to slow the German advance on those men.
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6 Sealion Sealion
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2021

It is September, 1940.
Poland, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and France are under the control of Nazi Germany. Britain is waiting its turn. Ken Rowe is a bit confused to be sent to what seems like a sleepy English village. What he will soon learn is that the town will soon be visited by the most beautiful woman he had ever met - a German spy.
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7 Crusader Crusader
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2021

It is June, 1941.
As General Rommel takes more control of North Africa as he heads to Cairo and the final defeat of the British in that part of the world, a German spy has already make entry into Tobruk to gain valuable intel. And Ken Rowe is heading to that same city to find and stop the apy.
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8 Bordeaux Bordeaux
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2022

It is February, 1942.
Ken Rowe is recalled from North Africa to London. He is in hot water with MI6 but still favored by Churchill who wants him to head to Bordeaux where a woman in the French Resistance was recently stripped and hung in the streets for all to see. Her capture came because someone in that group was obviously a mole and a traitor. This is especially bad for England since that group was also key in monitoring U-Boat activity in the region. Rowe is sent to find the mole.
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9 Nine Nine
Written by Mike Symons
Copyright: 2023

It is May, 1942.
Ken Rowe is on the run in Nazi-controlled France after a failed attempt to kill a high-level Gestapo agent. He was heading to the Pyrenees to cross into Spain and then on to home when a colleague, Emilie, is caught and sent to Paris for interrogation. Rowe disobeys orders and heads there to free her.
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MY COMMENTS

I liked the fact that at a time of these tales, at least the first couple, the British Intelligence community, such as it was, was consisting of the offspring of elites who, when not able to inherit titles because of an older sibling, flocked to cushy jobs in the Foreign Office. The old boy network was being replaced by the young sons network, fully intending to grow old themselves.

Unfortunately, someone had to get their hands dirty eventually so not so fortunate people had to be tolerated so these poor sods would do the actual work. And when people like Ken Rowe did things their own way in order to increase the odds of survival, well! I say!

Okay, I am stepping off my soapbox. Maybe it is to continue to read this very well-written series which is, luckily for all of us, still being written.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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