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Full Name: Mark Nicholson
Series Name: Counter-Terror
Nationality: British
Organization: Counter-Terror
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Charles
Time Span: 1974 - 1980


Mark Nicholson is an agent with Counter-Terror.

This organization is dedicated to fighting terrorism in Europe. The late '60s and early '70s had seen a dramatic rise in attacks by a wide assortment of groups, each with its own list of grievances and desires. Leaders among these were the IRA, Basque separatists, Baidor-Meinhof, Red Army, PLO, and so on. The attacks were growing bolder and more frequent.

Realizing that there was no central group able to handle the crisis because Interpol was constitutionally prohibited from dealing with political crimes, the nations of Europe created a small group to fight back. Under the leadership of Sir Alexander Gwynne-Vaughn, the team was comprised of leading police and anti-terror experts from major law enforcement groups seconded to this new agency.

The person put at the front of the field operatives, the man heading most missions, is Detective Inspector Nicholson, later promoted to Detective Chief Superintendent. In his mid-30's when the series begins, he is transferred to Counter-Terror from his former job at Special Branch though in his new job, he continues to have an office in New Scotland Yard and has the benefit of all his normal contacts and friendships, both of which he will make intelligent use of to accomplish his missions.

He is described as slender with dark hair and a rugged, sturdy jaw-line that easily conveys strength and determination. These traits are very useful for getting the information that sets up his missions but it is dogged attention to detail and the ability to operate alone and under pressure that keeps Nicholson alive out in the field.


Number of Books:8
First Appearance:1974
Last Appearance:1980

1 The Hour Of The Wolf The Hour Of The Wolf
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1974

With a diabolically clever maneuver, the terrorist leader known as the Wolf is sending IRA killers to Tokyo to strike even as he sends Arab killers to London, both groups with the goal of creating as much mayhem as they can. Mark Nicholson and team are out to stop them.

2 The Flight Of The Raven The Flight Of The Raven
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1975

A band of IRA agents fake an accident along a English road and stop a military convoy carrying spent plutonium waste. Minutes later the soldiers are dead and the terrorists have a horrific weapon.

3 The Scream Of The Dove The Scream Of The Dove
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1975

Capturing the German freighter was but the first step in an even bigger plan to take over a supertanker. The explosive capability of that giant ship filled with petroleum was almost unimaginable.

4 The Prey Of The Falcon The Prey Of The Falcon
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1976

As the terrorist group prepares to launch a series of bombings inside London almost reminiscent of the Blitz and as Mark Nicholson is set to fight back, a new player enters the field, a New York cop whose family was killed and who is getting revenge personally.

5 The Venom Of The Cobra The Venom Of The Cobra
aka Cobra Strike
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1979

The scheme was to force the world to answer to the demands of the Middle East. The method was the destruction of all oil production outside that region. The mastermind was a man called the Cobra and he was very good at striking.

6 The Snarl Of The Lynx The Snarl Of The Lynx
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1977

First they explode a bomb taking out the power grid lighting Manhattan. Then they storm the Security Council of the UN. Finally they capture fifteen international dignitaries and make an incredible demand. That is when Mark Nicholson moves in.

7 The Arms Of The Mantis The Arms Of The Mantis
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1978

The link between the Libyan backers of terror and the large conglomerate called Terror Incorporated is a man called the Mantis. He also runs a large trade in white slavery, augmenting his already considerable fortune. He is the target for Mark Nicholson and Counter-Terror.

8 A Lance For The Devil A Lance For The Devil
Written by Robert Charles
Copyright: 1980

The death of Pope Paul VI and the large funeral service planned provided the perfect setting for Terror Incorporated to pull off the largest mass assassination of world leaders. Counter-Terror knows its chances for stopping it are slim but it has to try.


Mr. Charles' books always had an exciting element to them. The characters tended to be rather blandly presented as he dealt more with the 'what' than the 'who' and I found that a shame. In this series, of course, the 'who' was many so getting to know any well would have been difficult but I would have liked it better.

Still, for excitement and action, he comes through. There is certainly not much time spent on soul-searching or struggles for understanding. The bad guys are the bad guys and they need to be caught or killed. Nicholson understands that completely.


My Grade: B


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