Ryder_Harry2 Ryder_Harry3 Ryder_Harry1
Full Name: Harry Ryder
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Footman
Time Span: 1980 - 1987


Harry Ryder is an agent with the CIA.

At the start of the series, Ryder was retired from the spy business and had been for five years. It had taken its toll and cost him his marriage, or as good as. "Give up the job or give up me" had been his wife's ultimatum as she moved her and her teenage son out of their Georgetown home and moved to California. After a year or so of independence, he decided she had been right. He quit and moved to join her but now there was a cold friendship. Affection still and a need for each other, especially after the son went off to college and medical school. Affection and need but no longer any heat or passion.

Back when he was a spy, he had been very, very good at it. In a career that spanned from the latter years of WWII through much of the Cold War, Ryder was a master of disguise who could take on the roles of numerous people as he went about his assignments. He was a genius at blending in and becoming a person one never really noticed.

He had thought that those days were over and that he did not miss them and that he was happy being with this wife at long last but when he is approached again for work and his wife tells him first that if he goes he should not come back and secondly she was hoping he would choose to leave, he chose to leave. Having so chosen, he quickly sees how much he missed the action.

He also sees that while he is still good at his job, he is now in his fifties and not as young and spry as he once was, which means to stay alive he has to be even better than he once was.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1980
Last Appearance:1987

1 Once A Spy Once A Spy
Written by Robert Footman
Copyright: 1980

Five years ago, Harry Ryder left the shadowy world of espionage to return to his wife and start a small consulting business. Now, with the business boring him and his marriage dying, Ryder is pulled back into action to affect the rescue of two people held by Filipino extremists.

2 Always A Spy Always A Spy
Written by Robert Footman
Copyright: 1986

Though an expert in Southeast Asian affairs, Harry Ryder is picked to help a British pseudo-agent find and stop a radical Serbo-Croatian militarist who is threatening to totally destabilize a very shaky government.

3 China Spy China Spy
Written by Robert Footman
Copyright: 1987

To root out the deep-set Soviet mole, the Chinese Secret Service needs the help of American government. To get that, it must entice Harry Ryder back into action that will bring him back to the Far East and sudden danger.


Having absolutely adored the first book in the series, even with the totally upsetting, but believable, ending, I grabbed the second book with great eagerness. This was not long lasting, however, as the story lines seemed confused, the many, many Serbo-Croatian names flying too fast to keep track, and the characters not very likable. It was hard to push all the way through. The third and final book takes Ryder back to the Far East with a far more interesting story. Two out of three is far better than a lot of others series, so I liked it overall. Maybe if there had been a fourth....


My Grade: B-


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