||1987 - 1992
ABOUT THE SERIES
Peter Lacey is an agent with D14a.
This is a small member of the British Intelligence community, one which takes that jobs that MI-6 feels would not be prudent to take in case it became public. Those who work for this department do so in an office supposedly belonging to Barnaby and Robinson - Investments. The staff includes several analysts and a small group of field agents.
Lacey is one of those agents, having been just assigned to it a few months before. Prior to that, this man in his late 30's had worked for MI-6 but he propensity for danger and for responding to violence with greater violence left a bad taste in the mouth of that bureau's Director. With considerable sarcasm and a great deal of relief, that man told Lacey was headed somewhere more in tune with his unpleasant nature.
This suited Lacey fine as he had for some time felt alien in the glass and steel tower on the Thames and liked the idea of trying something different, this coming after a recuperate period from his final MI-6 asssignment which had gone far less than successfully.
Lacey is married and has been for seventeen years to a woman named Susan who ran a shop selling in bric-a-brac which "they pretended were antiques". The relationship the two have is a strange one in that there is still love of a sort for the other and the sex when Lacey returns from a long mission was something both greatly anticipated. Lately, though, as Lacey recovers from his injuries and suffers an unusually deep malaise, they have been on the out. Lacey moved out for a while and offered to give her a divorce but she replied that she would rather be married to a man who was seldom home than to be alone officially. Lacey in his own way understood and agreed.
In the field, Lacey is extremely conscientious and dependable but the same knack for violence that caused his transfer does not get reduced as the series progresses. He does not kill without purpose or cause but neither does he necessarily refrain from it. In one adventure he is sent to stop an agent who might be divulging classified information. When he asks if he is to kill the agent, Lacey is amused when his director responds, "we would like his discretion to be guaranteed." Nicely put.
Note: The first book in the series, The Dark Apostle, won the John Creasey award in 1987 for best first crime novel even though it was a spy novel.
Note: There is another book, Serpent's Tooth, published in 1989, that has been listed as one of the Peter Lacey novels but I have this book and Lacey is not in it. The book deals with a plan was to kill the U.S. President by capturing and brainwashing his own daughter into doing the job.
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