Error in Books: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. James Burlane - Spy Guys And Gals


Full Name: James Burlane
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Richard Hoyt
Time Span: 1982 - 1996


       James Burlane is an agent of the CIA.
       Meticulously honest but with a cynicism that seems endless, he does whatever needs doing to get the job done. And if he can find a beautiful woman to help along the way, so much the better.
       The word reprobate might have been invented for Burlane, at least when it comes to the better vices. He does love the ladies and since they seem to like him, too, so much the better. He also loves a good drink. He will take a bad one as well if forced but he would prefer the good stuff. As long as it is wet and potent. He smokes. Not a lot but then not a little, either. Cigars, cigarettes, he doesn't really care. He especially appreciates one while drinking or after the pleasures of a woman. He's a betting man but is neither appreciably good nor bad at it; he just does it for enjoyment and would shrug off the result whichever way it went.
       If you talked to Burlane about these vices, he would certainly just shrug it off. It was who he was and what he enjoyed. In his mid-40's when the series opens, he had already had two failed marriages and has decided he just wasn't very good at it. He doesn't think about it much, though, and would just shrug that off, too, if asked.
       But Burlane isn't totally uncaring. He likes his job but has no illusions about it or the motives of the people above him. He doesn't care for politicians. He strongly dislikes the Soviets, not because they are evil but because they are bullies and he enjoys punching them in the nose on occasion. He is smart and observant and good at guessing motives, probably because of that lack of illusions. He able with a gun and can hold his own in a fight but would rather avoid both if given a chance.

       Burlane's life changes during the course of the series. Having been an operative for far too many years, he has made his share of enemies but even more importantly, he has become a known commodity and that eventually reduces his effectiveness so he dies. More accurately, he will have his death faked so he can become a non-entity, able to do whatever it really takes, leaving total denyability to the government. Even that can last only so long, though, and life will change again.

       Note: The last book in the series was written with, and possibly by, U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie and deals with the slaughter of members of Congress while in session. The authenticity that the co-author brings is impressive.


       If you can read one of these novels and not become a huge fan of both Burlane and the incredible Mr. Hoyt, you must have read it backwards. For just dynamite style and cadence, they are terrific.
       There is an ease to these stories. Excitement, things blowing up, intrigue, beautiful women, subterfuge and double-dealings and dark alley skulking and back room shenanigans, you name it. But through it all there is the ease that makes reading them so much fun. It is like the author is taking a short trip and just picks you up and pulls you effortlessly with him. A few hours pass, the journey ends, and you thank him and ask when the next ride is coming.
       This series made me want to read anything and everything else the author put out.


My Grade: A-


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