Nicolson_Lloyd1 Nicolson_Lloyd2 Nicolson_Lloyd3
Full Name: Lloyd Nicolson
Nationality: American
Organization: Counterstroke
Occupation Agent

Creator: Patrick Wayland
Time Span: 1964 - 1965


Lloyd Nicolson is an agent for Counterstroke.

While Counterstroke is the name the very few who know of its existence call it, its proper name is the International Trade Research Bureau. The President, Secretary of Defense, key people at the Pentagon, and a few at the CIA, are the ones who know of it and who can call upon it in times of trouble.

Its role is to "combat, as non-violently as possible, certain enemy activities which could not be handled with diplomatic propriety by the regular, above-ground agencies." It isn't tasked with espionage nor counter-espionage; mainly trouble-shooting problems in which the US government would prefer not be involved.

One of its best agents is Lloyd Nicolson, though possibly the least enthusiastic. For the past five years, he has worked for Counterstroke, even after he lost a leg in an explosion in Mexico. Prior to his work there, he had been content to use his gift with foreign languages at G-2 in the Pentagon. Now he routinely risks his life yearning for the chance to get out of his contract and go back to reading Russian newspapers.

The protagonist is a reluctant hero. He does not particularly like his job. He does not care for shooting people or being shot at, which he has been on several occasions and hit one as well. He liked his old job and would not mind having it back. He impatiently awaits the day he can go back to it.

Nicolson is in his mid-30's and has the rank of Captain in the Army, at least he did back when he was in the Army. He likes to think that he still it because he never resigned his commission nor was he fired. He was loaned out to the I.T.R.B. for a set period of time and until that time ran out, he was treated like a civilian. He would rather not be.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1964
Last Appearance:1965

1 Counterstroke Counterstroke
Written by Patrick Wayland
Copyright: 1964

His assignment sounds hard enough by itself; to stop a billion-dollar shipment of heroin being smuggled into the US by the Red Chinese. Complicating things for Lloyd Nicolson is the fact that there is virtually no clues to go on.

2 Double Defector Double Defector
Written by Patrick Wayland
Copyright: 1965

When his old friend and fellow agent disappears while shadowing a traitor, his superiors suspect defection. Lloyd Nicolson won't believe it.

3 The Waiting Game The Waiting Game
Written by Patrick Wayland
Copyright: 1965

The daughter of a prominent Soviet politician, a member of the Kiev Ballet, disappears while in New York. The Soviets cry kidnapping while the US claim ignorance. Counterstroke sends Lloyd Nicolson to investigate.


This is a good, solid series with an interesting character and well thought-out plots. It really has nothing to set it apart, other than being one of the very few series with a handicapped hero. But there is nothing bad to be said about it either so if you can, read it. After a book or two you do start to enjoy Nicolson's way of handing himself and his missions but there is just a blandness to the overall atmosphere that keeps the books from being too exciting.

That doesn't mean, of course, that I would not have read a fourth book if it were available. I would just never move it to the top of the pile ahead of its time.


My Grade: B-


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