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Full Name: Malcolm Kenton
Nationality: British
Organization: -
Occupation Other - Engineer

Creator: Simon Harvester
Time Span: 1955 - 1957


Malcolm Kenton is an engineer.

Before he started the incredible Dorian Silk series of espionage stories, the author wrote this five-book series about a construction engineer who, while plying his trade in the Far East, gets tangled in a web of intrigue for which he is woefully unequipped to handle.

Kenton was the darling of the construction community back in England. With his two brothers, he started a building company. One brother ran the finances, another handled the contracts and day-to-day, and Malcolm was the engineer. Contracts both domestic and foreign flocked their way and life was good.

The deteriorating relationship he had with his long-time love, though, started him on the road to heavy drinking and his work began to suffer. It is at that point that a contract in a new area of the world for the Kentons came up and the chance to get him away from his troubles seemed perfect.

Usually, though, throwing a drowning man into a different pond is not a recipe for success. For Kenton, it certainly wasn't as he has to deal with the prospects of sobriety mixing in with subterfuge and skullduggery he has never experienced before.

This is not to imply that Kenton is a total fish out of water, far from it. During WWII, Kenton had more than his share of adventures serving in the British Army in North Africa and spearheading bridge construction and the like for the advancing troops. These, though, were as part of a team with other armed men helping to cover his back. Now he was pretty well on his own and the bullets flying were just a deadly.

Through all his adventures, he doesn't give up his love of the drink but he does gain a bit of his old respect back.


Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1955
Last Appearance:1957

1 The Bamboo Screen The Bamboo Screen
Written by Simon Harvester
Copyright: 1955

Being an engineer, Malcolm Kenton thought his time in Hong Kong would be spent building and drinking, his two favorite passtimes. Instead he is thrown into the world of espionage without consent and made part of a plan to take over the world.

2 Dragon Road Dragon Road
Written by Simon Harvester
Copyright: 1956

Having exposed a Chinese plot and made considerable enemies, Malcolm Kenton wants just to get out of that region, heading to Burma as the closest route. Someone, however, is on his heels and someone else seems to be changing the itinerary.

3 The Paradise Men The Paradise Men
Written by Simon Harvester
Copyright: 1956

The latest job for Malcolm Kenton is to head to the inner regions of New Guinea where scientists are studying a band of Stone Age tribes. Prehistoric or modern, humans cannot avoid the dangers of death and that finds everyone sooner than later.

4 The Copper Butterfly The Copper Butterfly
Written by Simon Harvester
Copyright: 1957

Just married, Malcolm Kenton and his bride Claire head to Japan for their honeymoon, never expecting that interest in a copper butterfly would entangle them in a case of espionage similar to an actual event involving a Soviet spy named Sorge.

5 The Golden Fear The Golden Fear
Written by Simon Harvester
Copyright: 1957

Wanting to drown his sorrows and his memories of things recently lost, Malcolm Kenton heads to places he is not known too well, in this case Indonesia but his talent for getting into trouble or letting trouble snare him remains the same.


The feeling of a fish-out-of-water pervades this two-book series but under the great writing skill of Mr. Harvester, it is fascinating and very much worth the time. I don't know if I'd like the main character or not but I loved following his adventures.

And Mr. Harvester has proven book after book that he does not know how to write a bad one. At least, I haven't found one, either in the Kenton series or his more known one of Dorian Silk.

Kenton is a precursor to Silk and for that reason as much as anything, they should be read to see the evolution of a style.


My Grade: B-


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