RARA-AVIS: New member

From: Jeremy Duns ( jeremyduns@yahoo.com)
Date: 13 May 2002

Hi there. I joined last week, although I've been reading posts from this group for the last couple of years - whenever I'm looking for information on a writer I like, I seem to find an illuminating thread here, so I thought it was about time I made myself known.

I'm a 28-year-old English journalist living in Brussels, Belgium. I haven't read much "pure" hardboiled fiction, being more of a fan of spy stuff: I like Donald Hamilton, Adam Hall, and am just getting into James Atlee Phillips' Joe Gall series.

I also like Martin Cruz Smith (including the Nick Carter and Inquisitor stuff, which I think I found out about here) and Russian writer Julian Semyonov, whose Petrovka 38 was mentioned here in March. I haven't read that one, but Seventeen Moments of Spring (called The Himmler Ploy in the US) is one of the best spy novels I've read, and is pretty hard-boiled. It features a Russian agent posing as a high-ranking SD officer in the last days of WWII, desperately trying to stop Himmler from making a separate peace with Dulles. It's probably the most famous thriller in Russia, and was a highly successful TV series there.

One reason I like Semyonov is that it gives me the chance to see the world from the perspective of another culture. I am getting more into spy stories not written by Brits or Americans. In this vein, I was wondering if anyone here had read any of Jean Bruce's stuff. He created the French-born CIA agent Hugh Bonneville de Bath, OSS 117, a few years before Fleming created James Bond, and he wrote around 70 of the things. His wife took over after his death, followed by their kids. There must be 300 or so books in the series - kind of a French Nick Carter. During the 60s spy craze, several were "adapted" for the silver screen, starring the likes of John Gavin. In France and Benelux, these novels (and the dreadful SAS series) can be found in just about every used bookstore: I picked up six for around a euro the other day. A few were translated into English in the Sixties, both in America and Britain. Does anyone know the books at all? Jeremy

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