Carter_Ralph2 Carter_Ralph1
Full Name: Ralph Carter
Nationality: British
Organization: Special Branch
Occupation Agent

Creator: Tom Lilley
Time Span: 1970 - 1972


Ralph Carter is a police officer with Special Branch.

The two-book series details some of the activities confronting the British government as it fought rebels and Communists and others during the waning years of colonial rule in then Malaya, now Malaysia, around 1950.

Holding the rank of Assistant Superintendent with Special Branch, Carter is responsible for hunting and arresting those whose criminal activities constitute a threat to security. As such, he is still a police officer but with far greater powers and responsibilities.

As the series opens, he has just been placed in charge of the Projects Section, a small group dedicated to finding ways and means of eliminating Communist leaders. He is there as a replacement because the previous holder of that post had been murdered, probably by those he was trying to arrest.

Carter's job is made incredibly difficult as it is common knowledge that independence for the area is on its way, though no one knows exactly when, and the turmoil that its pending brings causes alliances to shift almost daily and people who were once devoted to the British are watching out for their own future and old enemies are stepping forward to show how useful they can be in the future government.

And in it all, the Communist influences that strive to keep the chaos from ebbing are the chief target for Carter's group.

Carter is described as a man no longer young but still considerably away from retirement. He is extremely experienced and knowledgable about the insurrection skills of the communist agitators as well as being an old hand at being a cop. He also knows that often the role of a cop does not work at all in the dark alley visits of an undercover agent.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1970
Last Appearance:1972

1 The Officer From Special Branch The Officer From Special Branch
aka The Projects Section
Written by Tom Lilley
Copyright: 1970

As he begins his assignment leading the Projects Section, Ralph Carter learns that the guerrillas have their own list of "The People's Enemies", handed to their killer-squads. Carter's name is near the top.
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2 The K Section The K Section
Written by Tom Lilley
Copyright: 1972

Independence is coming to the Malaysian Peninsula and with it comes increased violence by the Communist insurgents, making the work for Ralph Carter and his group even harder.


This two-book series is a must read for anyone interested in how things were back then and for how things are today. The places change but the concept of swifting loyalties and fear and excitement about the future, weighed against fighting old enemies, is the same.

Even better than a spy series, this look back in history is fascinating. It may have been written around two decades after it all happened but that is still fresher than the sixty years it is now. It is possible to see a bit of both sides in the conflict, those who wanted to maintain order and those who wanted a change, no matter what it brought. And the plight of those who once had power and were now willingly giving it up, all while trying to maintain order and peace, that is well described in these adventures.


My Grade: B-

Your Average Grade:   A+


bonita A+ 11/7/2013 3:04:52 PM

The excitement was well presented and the pacing very good. I really enjoyed the character

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