Blogs about espionage

Two Against the Underworld guidebook by Richard McGinlay, Alan Hayes, and Alys Hayes

The “Two Against the Underworld” guidebook by Richard McGinlay, Alan Hayes, and Alys Hayes was published for the first time in 2015 and in a revised edition in 2017.

“The Avengers” is a show that made television history yet its origins are in some ways obscure, above all, because series 1 was almost completely lost. The authors did a considerable amount of research based on the source material and various sources to try to offer as complete a guide as possible to the creation of the show and the production of series 1, the reason for the subtitle “The Complete Unauthorized Guide to The Avengers Series 1”.

Killing West by Lee Gimenez

The novel “Killing West” by Lee Gimenez was published for the first time in 2014. It’s part of the Rachel West series.

Rachel West is a CIA operative investigating Chinese billionaire Zhao Deng’s acquisitions of American technology companies. However, her mission to China ends with the man’s death at the hands of one of his bodyguards, an event that indicates that someone else must be behind him.

The information she gathered brings Rachel West far from China in search of the person, or persons behind acquisitions whose purposes are still obscure. Investigating becomes even more difficult when strong suspicions emerge that someone in the CIA is working against her.

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, Essex, England. The typical elements of Alfred Hitchcock’s work, from the creation of suspense to black humor, including his obsession with blondes and many other themes and mechanisms, have been the subject of in-depth analysis to understand the work process of a director who had a remarkable influence also beyond genre cinema.

Robert Ludlum was born on May 25, 1927 in New York. Only in 1971 Robert Ludlum made his debut as a writer with the novel “The Scarlatti Inheritance”. It contains some elements that became typical of this author’s spy novels with the presence of a wealthy and powerful group of people trying to manipulate a series of events without hesitating to commit murders to prevent secrets dangerous to them from being disclosed.

After several other successes, in 1980 Robert Ludlum published the novel “A Bourne Identity”, the first about the character of Jason Bourne, a secret agent who loses his memory after being severely wounded. This novel in which the psychological thriller element is very important was adapted into the 1988 TV movie with the same name and in the 2002 movie with the same name. However, apart from the original concept the movie has a plot very different from the novel’s.

Robert Ludlum died on March 12, 2001 for the consequences of wounds suffered in a fire burst in his villa on February 10. The circumstances of that event are worthy of one of his stories, so much that years later Kenneth Kearns, the author’s nephew, openly accused Ludlum’s wife of killing him.

Some novels were posthumously published as written by Robert Ludlum only or in collaboration with other writers. In the following years Eric Van Lustbader resumed the Jason Bourne series and has so far published 10 more novels about the famous secret agent’s adventures.

Robert Ludlum’s novels have been published in 40 countries in 33 languages. Their success is due to the author’s ability to tell international conspiracies with diabolical masterminds and sometimes unexpected heroes because in some cases they’re common people rather than secret agents who have to fight against apparently overwhelming forces. These heroes have to travel, sometimes run, all over the world, sometimes coming to little-known places underlined by local people who speak in even less known languages.

The plots that are developed in Robert Ludlum’s novels have elements over the top for the big conspiracies but sometimes seem even too realistic for the motivations of members of governments, armed forces, and various government agencies interested in controlling their citizens rather than serving them. On these occasions terrorists are also used for shadowy purposes that have nothing to do with the ideologies they are acting on. It’s a mixture of elements that for decades have captured the interest of millions of readers around the world.

"The Avengers" boxset containing season 2 and the surviving episodes of season 1

Kaleidoscope, a Birmingham-based British non-profit organization specialized in the research and conservation of old television programs, announced that it discovered and acquired a copy of the episode “Tunnel of Fear” of the first season of the TV show “The Avengers”. It’s an extraordinary event because so far of the first season only the first episode’s first act and two complete episodes were available.