Die Rich, Die Happy (John Craig, Book 2)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Searching for Callan Books by James Mitchell, I happened across these on a Russian Site. The formatting and proofing was just awful. I've read them through, anglisized the spelling from American to English, tidied the layout and added new covers.
They're not as good as I remember them (I wonder if the Callan books will be when I find them) but still well worth a read. Read them in order.
Oil is a sensitive commodity for Western governments so when problems arise for a rich man who can deliver the oil rights Department K is quick to send in someone they can easily disavow. Craig already knows he can't trust anyone in the Department but soon finds he really can't trust anyone at all. When the stakes are high enough everyone acts in their own interest.
Has some thought provoking sidelines on the mental effects of violence, even on those to whom violence may be commonplace.
The set of four John Craig books were published during the 1960s when the romantic idea of spying was fashionable. The Craig books are clearly entertaining action/violent spy-type stories; they also deal with the way government agencies would use people in a cold-blooded fashion, as disposable and preferably non-attributable short-term assets. The Harry Palmer books by Deighton and John Le Carre's 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold' deal with the same subject but in a more cerebral, less violent way, although they acknowledged the use of violence.
John Craig out-Bonds Bond. Each Craig book is an entire and complete story, but the four of them make a great series. The character develops and ages across the books. The four books in this series are: The Man Who Sold Death; Die Rich, Die Happy; Money That Money Can't Buy; The Innocent Bystanders.