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Full Name: Brinley Knight
Nationality: British
Organization: MI5
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jana Petken
Time Span: 2022 - 2024


Brinley Knight is an agent with MI5.

The period of time we first encounter this operative is 1937 as Britain struggles with the prospect of war with Germany; many in the government strive to maintain some semblance of peace through appeasement while others work to prepare for what they consider an inevitable conflict. Tensions in the United Kingdom were extremely high as many wanted their leaders to stand up to Hitler and keep hims expansionistic plans at bay while many others, especially like-thinking fascists, of which there were a good number, wanted the government to embrace the tenets of the Germans, oust the Jews from England, and vow to never take up arms against its Teutonic cousins.

It is in April of that year we first meet Knight as he and his friend, mentor, and supervisor, Charlie, have just completed a three-week auditing job at the British subsidiary of a major German corporation. Knight was an accountant at the time and was not consciously looking for a change of employment though very long days of pouring over account ledgers did take a toll. Even with someone with a photographic memory as Knight has gets blurry-eyed staring at numbers for long hours at a time. Tack on the fact that Knight had soured considerably after dealing with the often humorless German company leaders.

It would be this audit and the discrepancies they had uncovered which would lead to Knight changing careers and becoming an operative with MI5 - that and a gunshot out in the street leaving a pub with Charlie and seeing a bullet hit his friend just above the bridge of his nose. A second bullet came and then a third as the unseen gunman tried to eliminate Knight as well and only luck kept him from joining his colleague in death. Yet another bullet would end that lucky streak but leave Knight still alive with a graze to the head and a concussion and a determination to find who had assaulted them and get justice for Charlie. And to prove people at that company were calling the shots. One of the first people to show up asking questions was an MI5 operative also looking into the German company and through him, Knight would see his new line of work beckoning.

We learn soon of Knight's political views and "his desire to help defend the nation from communists, fascists and foreign spies. Extreme right and extreme left politics had always disturbed him. They hated the sort of liberal democracy he wanted to flourish in Britain, and every day he saw the threats to his country, both militarily and politically, grow more dangerous." Working for MI5 against the enemies of the country sounded like just the thing for this handsome, glib, sociable young man who secretly craved excitement.

He kept his determination to make a go of working for MI5 even after an experienced operative, Sam, the man who first interviewed him, admitted, "We are depraved creatures here [at MI5]. There are no depths we will not go to in order to catch a foreign spy or British traitor. We do what we must to protect this country, and we do not apologize to anyone for the actions we take. This section is under tremendous strain. We have barely enough funds to keep our doors open". Knight saw no problem with any of that.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2022
Last Appearance:2024

1 The Man from Section Five The Man from Section Five
Written by Jana Petken
Copyright: 2022

"Brinley Knight has a photographic memory. Bored with his mundane job, he accepts an offer from MI5 to become a full-time spy in a shadowy world of espionage. As Britain stands at the edge of war, Brin learns to his cost that ‘defending the realm’ means duty before family."

2 The Dying Peace The Dying Peace
Written by Jana Petken
Copyright: 2022

"Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain pins all Britain’s hopes for peace on a face-to-face meeting with Adolf Hitler in Munich, but behind their civilised discussions, Germany amasses armaments and moves its plans forward for its invasion of Czechoslovakia. Gerhardt von Kessler continues to operate his deadly rogue operations in Britain, and he is always one step ahead of MI5.
Brinley Knight uncovers startling evidence against Sir Oswald Mosley, including a foreign dictator secretly funding the British Union of Fascists, and a conspiracy to overthrow the British government and King George VI in a violent coup.
As the political division in Britain grows, unexpected help for Brinley Knight and MI5 comes from a high-ranking officer in Hitler’s Nazi regime."

3 For King And Country For King And Country
Written by Jana Petken
Copyright: 2023

"As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, an underfunded MI5 struggles to contain the German and Russian spies who are flocking to England to recruit sympathetic British agents. The section’s biggest challenge, however, lies with fascist aristocrats and several Parliament MPs who support Nazi Germany’s foreign policy and its leader Adolf Hitler. Some of them, including Sir Oswald Mosley, are planning for a revolution if Prime Minister Chamberlain declares war on the Third Reich."
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4 Under The Blanket Of War Under The Blanket Of War
Written by Jana Petken
Copyright: 2024

"Brin continues to fight a silent war flooded with conspiracies and intrigue. As political tensions in Britain rise, he witnesses the fascists’ plans to conduct a violent coup. If successful, they would bring down the government and replace King George VI with the Duke of Windsor. Yet even with this imminent threat, the new home secretary refuses to intern the British plotters hiding amongst the aristocracy and Parliament benches."
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This wonderfully written series touches upon a piece of pre-WWII history that I have been fascinated with for some time - namely the apparently considerable fascist movement inside the UK who liked a lot of what the Nazis were pushing and who wanted very much to keep the British government out of any fight with their buddies. I think historians for several decades after the horrible war were 'nudged' to tamp down that truth in favor of Us vs Them - Yea Us!

Of course I was not alive then but the way that Jana Petken writes, I sure felt like I was. Scary times beautifully penned. I hope she will give us more Brinley Knight.


My Grade: A-


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