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Full Name: William Cowley and Dimitri Danilov
Nationality: American, Russian
Organization: FBI,OCB
Occupation Agent

Creator: Brian Freemantle
Time Span: 1992 - 2004


William Cowley is an agent with the American FBI. Dimitri Danilov is an officer with the Moscow Militia.

The time period for their first recorded adventure, the first time the two are brought together on a case, is 1992. The Soviet Union has fallen and the Russian Federation come into existence.

Danilov is a Colonel in the People's Militia for the Moscow region, an experienced and unusually dedicated policeman in a new order where the old set of rules and regulations was barely holding on as the environment, legal and political, changed rapidly. We learn right away that Danilov had been one of those eager for a change from the usual Soviet inefficiency, only to become saddened and disillusioned when the new was just like the old. Over time his position will change as he will make enemies and then friends in high places and will move to the new Organized Crime Bureau.

William Cowley is an experienced FBI special agent who has gradually moved up in promotion until he has reached his current position of director of the Russian internal desk, a place that he recognizes is certainly the best he is ever likely to achieve in the Bureau; it is also one he is pleased and surprised to have reached considering his trouble in London some time back [think his best friend and his wife, now both exes, and toss in a major drinking problem that he mostly refuses to admit]. 

The two men would never have met each other or learned to work so well together and even to become good friends had it not been for the murder of a young American woman in Moscow. Even that would not have been enough to draw them together except for the fact that the victim was the niece of a powerful U.S. senator who demands that the Moscow Militia make use of the offered help of the FBI. Both Cowley and Danilov will find considerable pressure from multiple sources but both will decide finding the truth and getting it known were the priorities.

After that, both Cowley and Danilov will find their lives changing, sometimes for the worse but largely for the better. They also find that their jobs, already quite difficult to do, is nearly impossible when dealing with politicians, mobsters, and spy organizations.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1992
Last Appearance:2004

1 The Button Man The Button Man
aka In the Name of a Killer
Written by Brian Freemantle
Copyright: 1992

A serial killer is at play in Moscow, taking hair from his victims as souvenirs and carefully removing all buttons from their clothing. Militia Colonel Dimitri Danilov, a good cop with problems at home, is assigned the case. When the most recent victim is the daughter of a powerful US Senator, FBI agent William Cowley is called in. They will come up against the worlds of espionage, international politics, and diplomatic immunities.
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2 No Time For Heroes No Time For Heroes
Written by Brian Freemantle
Copyright: 1994

The murder of a diplomat in DC has all the earmarks of a Mob hit but when it is learned he was Russian, the head of the Russia Desk, William Cowley, is called in and soon is joined by Dimitri Danilov. Their search for the killer and the motive will take them on an around-the-world trek.
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3 The Watchmen The Watchmen
Written by Brian Freemantle
Copyright: 2000

"Only a miracle and faulty workmanship prevents a germ-packed warhead from exploding when a terrorist missile slams into the United Nations building in New York. The lettering on the side of the rocket is Russian, which presents the West with its worst nightmare: a direct link between a fanatical US terrorist group and Russian gangsters with access to the germ warfare arsenal of the former Soviet Union."
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4 Triple Cross Triple Cross
Written by Brian Freemantle
Copyright: 2004

Moscow's Organized Crime Bureau chief Dimitri Danilov has reason to again join up with his occasional partner, William Cowley, head of the FBI's Russian desk. Their mission is to find a way to stop the creation of an international crime conglomerate made up of the Mafias of the US, Russia, and Italy.


I do not know what took me so long to add this series to the compendium, especially since I so long ago brought Arkady Renko into it. Pretty much the same situation, albeit totally different characters. Anyways, it took too long and that is all on me.

This series' author, Brian Freemantle, should be on every spy-fi fan's top 10 list for his Charlie Muffin series as well as his many other fantastic suspense and spy novels. The man is a genius writer, of no doubt.

The Cowley & Danilov series might not reach the Muffin level (but then few could) but they are so very good!


My Grade: A-


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