Gail_John3 Gail_John7 Gail_John1 Gail_John4 Gail_John2 Gail_John6 Gail_John5
Full Name: John Gail
Nationality: British
Organization: Pleadon
Occupation Agent

Creator: Stephen Frances
Time Span: 1965 - 1971


John Gail is an agent for Pleadon.

That is the name of a highly secret organization consisting of fifty-four of the wealthiest men in the world, dedicated to making the world a better place, no matter the cost. The concept of any such large group being able to be kept a secret is impressive on its own.

Into this world comes Gail, down on his luck and tired of selling encyclopedias door-to-door. Answering an oddly place advertisement for what seems like quick and easy money, Gail learns being an agent is hard work. It also requires doing things you would have sworn you'd never do. Gail took the job hoping it would be a one-shot deal to get him back on his feet. Had he known his future, he surely would have missed the first appointment.

Gail is described as "everyman" which is a good description. As a salesman, especially one that is not doing very good at job, his scruples are not the highest and his morals are even lower but he has the normal amount of doubt and fear to make his adventures interesting. As an agent he shows more than a respectable amount of discretion before heading into trouble. Still, his loyalty to his lady friends is real and often gets him into trouble. It is his cavalier attitude towards money that continually plagues him.

Also of considerable interest is the relationship that Gail has with his immediate supervisor, George. It was George who recruited him and it is George who finds ways to force Gail to take missions. It is George who is the face of all the danger and trouble that Gail must contend with. It is also George who provides the money that Gail is always in need of. Their frequent conversations are quite enjoyable.


Number of Books:7
First Appearance:1965
Last Appearance:1971

1 This Woman Is Death This Woman Is Death
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1965

Once John Gail reluctantly agrees to work for the group, his need for money stronger than his apprehensions, he finds that falling in love with your female partner can lead to the deaths of both parties.

2 To Love And Yet To Die To Love And Yet To Die
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1966

John Gail is pulled from his personal hideaway to protect a woman who had suffered greatly from many men and who was hunted by men who wanted her for what she knew. The trouble Gail faced was he really had no idea who they were.

3 The Ambassador's Plot The Ambassador's Plot
aka The Sad And Tender Flesh
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1966

The case started with the blackmail of a British diplomat over pictures of him with a 15-year old girl but moved quickly to a plot to control the future of Europe. John Gail must stop it.

4 Hate Is For The Hunted Hate Is For The Hunted
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1968

The group was highly exclusive, made up of the rich, powerful, and deadly. It relished sex and sadism as both an enjoyment and a tool. It was planning on destroying the British government unless John Gail could stop it.

5 The Sweet Shame Of Fury The Sweet Shame Of Fury
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1968

John Gail finds a dead man in a hotel room in Amsterdam and expects to be assigned to find out what the international ramifications would be. Instead, he is told to keep watch on four people who seem to have nothing to do with the matter. Gail soon finds they do, in very odd and kinky ways.

6 The Caress Of Conquest The Caress Of Conquest
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1968

John Gail must learn to play ball with smugglers and white slavers to destroy a drug ring that is turning his fellow agents into addicts and threatening the organization from the inside.

7 Cry For My Lovely Cry For My Lovely
Written by Stephen Frances
Copyright: 1971

A cure for cholera, a disease claiming tens of thousands a year, has been discovered but the fight for ownership of it becomes violent. John Gail is dispatched to try his hand at getting the formula.


The covers of the Award editions of the adventures make you believe you are getting a Nick Carter-esque "love 'em or shoot 'em" book. Beautiful women, guns, missiles, and such.

Start reading and you quickly realize that is not the case. The hero is not really heroic, at least at first. He isn't even likeable. He wants to grab the money and run but his employer keeps finding him. He wants to love 'em but his heart falls too easily to leave 'em. This isn't to say that he is over respectful of the ladies who offer their charms. It is just that when he falls, he falls hard and it doesn't take too much to push him off the edge.

All that having been said, they are not bad reads. The writing is very well done and the characters are always interesting. The plots tend to be standard fare but Gail's approach to them is different than normal as he sometimes backs into trouble instead of facing it. Whichever way, though, he finds the trouble. Or it finds him.


My Grade: B+


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