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Full Name: Colin Burke
Nationality: American
Organization: Washington Tribune
Occupation Reporter

Creator: Robert Cullen
Time Span: 1990 - 1997


Colin Burke is a journalist of considerable repute.

Initially working as the Moscow correspondent to the weekly news magazine Newsweek, Burke finds that uncovering the truth in a land which has known secrecy and intrigue for decades is not only difficult, it is can also be murder, literally. Luckily for him, though, is, as he explains, he is basically insensitive and that works to his advantage. He can poke and pry and it won't affect him when he angers someone, unless that person has a gun or bodyguards.

Burke is easily in his mid 40's and has been a reporter for many years, the last few in Moscow. He was married when he was young but it didn't last long and left no bitter memories other than he is not good at marriage or at least his job makes him bad at it. He enjoys the company of women but while stationed in Moscow dating Russian woman often means dating the KGB. In that regard, he is certain that his Russian secretary is informing on him to the KGB but since he expects it and she is a very good secretary, he doesn't object. Besides, except for the names of sources, most of what he knows he puts in the paper which they can read for the cost of an issue.

During his several years in this important position as lead correspondent, most prior to the start of the series, Burke has made a large number of friends and a smaller but more vehement group of enemies. And the CIA tries to make use of him even as it sometimes thinks killing him would be alright as well.

As the series progresses, Burke is offered an even better job as editor of the prestigious Washington Tribune. The task of finding the truth in the nation's capital where secrets might be as deadly as in Moscow but the lust for power and the preservation of position are fought for just as strongly. Still, his years of dealing with the Russians will take him back to that country again or involve him with them in other ways.

Burke is a snoop. More importantly for this series, he is an international snoop who wants the story and is willing to put his butt on the line to get it. Both happen regularly: his butt is endangered and he gets the story.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1990
Last Appearance:1997

1 Soviet Sources Soviet Sources
Written by Robert Cullen
Copyright: 1990

Colin Burke's intended reporting of the Soviet Premier having a stroke might win him a Pulitzer but his uncovering of a KGB coup plot might get him killed. And for reasons he cannot understand, the CIA is also more against him than for.

2 Cover Story Cover Story
Written by Robert Cullen
Copyright: 1994

Learning of a deal between Russian nuclear scientists and Syrian officials thrusts Colin Burke into an international affair in which the Americans have a major stake, not to mention the Israelis who act like they are helping but who knows for sure.

3 Dispatch From A Cold Country Dispatch From A Cold Country
Written by Robert Cullen
Copyright: 1996

Colin Burke reluctantly heads back to Russia when one of his reporters, onto a terrific story, disappears in St. Petersburg. His own investigation takes him to the Hermitage where a plot that can bring down the current government is brewing.

4 Heirs Of The Fire Heirs Of The Fire
Written by Robert Cullen
Copyright: 1997

Colin Burke's reporting of a secret deal by the President to sell high-tech missiles to Saudi Arabia lands him in major hot water with two governments and arab militants with their own agenda and the fact that his girl friend is a CIA agent only complicates things.


Mr. Cullen knows the reporting business backwards and forwards. His own career, in fact, parallels that of Burke at several points, giving his fictional character even more of an authentic feel. And as a reporter, the author knows how to present the facts in a way that is accurate and compelling. The books are definitely compelling.

The adventures where Colin Burke has to deal with Russians is very realistic, probably because Mr. Cullen did it for so long. I would guess that the author did not go through what the character did but who knows how autobiographical the stories are. That helps make them fun!


My Grade: B+


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