The latest releases from Ostara Publishing’s Top Notch Thrillers imprint offer a double-barrelled blast of cult spy fiction from the 1960s, both from the pen of author James Mitchell.
The Innocent Bystanders (1969) was the fourth and last novel by James Mitchell writing as James Munro and featuring secret agent John Craig. Craig has to find a Russian scientist hiding out in Turkey. Nick at Existential Ennui ran a feature on the John Craig novels back in October. And I quote:
Craig is an appealing lead – a working class rough diamond (Mitchell/Munro had a thing for working class heroes; see also David Callan and, from the Mitchell written-and-created When the Boat Comes In, Jack Ford) made good whose rugged looks and expertise in gunplay and hand-to-hand combat make him, inevitably, irresistible to the opposite sex.
Death and Bright Water (1974) is the third Mitchell novel to feature the rather-more-famous Callan, portrayed by Edward Woodward in his pre-Equaliser days. Mike points out:
Callan, created initially as the one-off drama A Magnum for Schneider in 1967, eventually ran for four series on television and the character featured in a further one-off TV movie, a film, five novels and twenty short stories.
For more information, here are all of the Top Notch Thrillers.