Cord_Talos1 Cord_Talos2 Cord_Talos4 Cord_Talos3 Cord_Talos6 Cord_Talos5
Full Name: Talos Cord
Nationality: American
Organization: United Nations
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert MacLeod
Time Span: 1964 - 1973


Talos Cord is an agent for the United Nations.

One of the top operatives, assigned to the Field Reconnaissance office, his job is "to insure that armed force shall not be used save in the common interest." In that capacity, Cord works for a fat, aging Andrew Beck who runs the department and frets about each agent, especially Cord.

Cord was made an orphan before WWII when he was living with his parents in Shanghai. They died when the Japanese invaded and he was sent to a concentration camp. As he arrived, a sergeant struck him, giving a nasty gash on the face which survived as a long scar he carries to this day. In the camp, he survived due to the help of an old White Russian and a Eurasian taxi-dancer.

Remembering nothing of life before the camp, Cord was taken in by the American Beck who helped free the prisoners. It was Beck that renamed the young boy "Talos" as there was no recorded first name and it was Beck who adopted him and raised him.

Now he works for Beck as a globe-trotting troubleshooter, a man who dislikes violence but isn't afraid to use it to keep the peace on a larger scale. The Field Reconnaissance department's main job, as described by Cord, was "to find out what was going on when trouble began simmering, then advising the top brass on the best way to stop the situation from boiling over." That is the intent that Cord takes to every assignment but often things begin to boil so much that it is Cord who ends up dealing with them.

The series was originally released under the penname of Robert MacLeod but later re-released under the author's real name of Bill Knox.


Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1964
Last Appearance:1973

1 Cave Of Bats Cave Of Bats
Written by Robert MacLeod
Copyright: 1964

A hydroelectric facility being built in the northern reaches of Burma, near the Chinese border, is being hampered by tribal unrest fueled by suspicion and stoked by Red China agents. Talos Cord heads there as a mediator but soon takes his normal role as troubleshooter.
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2 The Iron Sanctuary The Iron Sanctuary
aka Lake Of Fury
Written by Robert MacLeod
Copyright: 1966

The death of a fellow agent in a plane crash in East Africa halted the investigation of unrest in that region. Talos Cord is sent to replace him to find why a major smuggling operation seems to have ramifications far beyond normal criminal activities.
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3 Isle Of Dragons Isle Of Dragons
Written by Robert MacLeod
Copyright: 1967

Talos Cord heads to the region of Borneo to check on a rumor that the increase in activity by a long-dead bandit, now a legendary rebel leader, is being funded by Red China.

4 Place Of Mists Place Of Mists
Written by Robert MacLeod
Copyright: 1969

The assassination of a key Arabic leader in New York stirs unrest back home in Morocco, necessitating Talos Cord's trip to that North African nation to help keep alive another major official thought to be next in line to die.

5 Path Of Ghosts Path Of Ghosts
Written by Robert MacLeod
Copyright: 1971

Originally published in Star Weekly, July 17, 1971.
When the body of the mistress of a deceased South American dictator is found buried for three months under the wintry snow of Switzerland, Talos Cord must head there to check out continuing rumors that the leader is really still alive but doesn't want to be found.

6 Nest Of Vultures Nest Of Vultures
Written by Robert MacLeod
Copyright: 1973

Sent to the South of France to help a fellow agent investigate an organization that is recruiting mercenaries to keep bush wars in East Africa going, Talos Cord arrives to find the other agent has died from a fall out of a window and someone wants to take on Cord.


If you prefer a thinking man who tries to find a less volatile way to resolve a situation before blowing something up or away, you will likely enjoy Talos Cord. The author, whether he goes by MacLeod or Knox, is a darned good one. The problems presented are varied and interesting and the way that Cord gets himself out of the trouble is usually fascinating. I am always sorry when a well written series ends but I am pleased that Mr. Knox gave us six entertaining tales. Considering the dozens of other books he wrote under his real name and his pseudonyms, that is impressive.


My Grade: B+

Your Average Grade:   A+


David A+ 4/19/2014 7:26:04 PM

Though I was a greater fan of Knox's Webb Carrick and Inspector Thane novels I truly enjoyed watching Cord use his brains to handle himself in these. I was sorry to see it end as well.

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