Boysie Oakes, ex anguished agent, ex defective private eye, and greying horrifically at the temples, is facing the wilderness of middle-age supported only by the Welfare State.
At long last Boysie Oakes has reached seedy maturity - and he plans to grow old quietly without any more dangerous missions.
Until, like an evil genie, up pops his oily old boss, Mostyn, offering a life of renewed luxury.
Boysie is to become the sole British Director of Air Apparent, an airline which operates from one office, has no aircraft, yet, by juggling with officialdom and illegally chartering aeroplanes, manages to transfer its customers to their destinations at half the scheduled fares and still makes a vast profit.
But when Boysie discovers that Air Apparent is being used for more nefarious purposes, such as the shipment of arms to third world nations, he is forced to call in his old shooting partner, Charlie Griffin.
Events crowd in, culminating in a hijacking, hilarity and, naturally, hectic hedonism.
“Gardner’s at the top of his form.” Daily Mirror
“Boysie Oakes is at the top of his form in this topical thriller.” Guardian
“All very entertaining in a crazy sort of way.” Morning Star
‘Air Apparent’ is the seventh in the Boysie Oakes series of novels by John Gardner. Tightly written and packed with incredible twists, ‘Air Apparent’ is a brilliant continuation of the story of Gardner’s cowardly professional assassin.
It is perfect for fans of classic British spy fiction, including Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, and Desmond Bagley.
He is on the run and terrified, travelling from Paris, across France, and down to his old stamping ground, the Cote d'Azur.
But who is chasing him? And why?
Nobody escapes the past, and Boysie is no exception - events are catching up with him like hounds descending upon a screeching hare.
A nemesis comes first in the shape of his former boss in the Department - the oily James George Mostyn.
Sought out by Mostyn, Boysie finds himself back on active service and forced to sit on SEAT - Special Executive for Anti-Terrorism.
A routine conference in Paris, however, reveals the truth.
Both Mostyn and Boysie are being set up at the wrong end of a series of ruthless liquidations, and somebody has to lose.
Before he can shout for a lifebuoy, Boysie finds himself on the run - both from the French police and security organisations, who want him for murder; and from the shadows of the past, who want him dead.
His trade has worn him down to the bone, and he sits alone, rejected and punch-drunk and full of self-pity. Reality and fiction have become mixed in his mind.
In increasing financial trouble, he is offered some semblance of security if he will take on just one journalistic assignment behind the Iron Curtain.
All that’s required is an interview with Kit Styles, the most notorious of all defectors from West to East.
But it’s not as straightforward as he thinks.
He hasn’t reckoned with the eternally incompetent and feckless Boysie Oakes; his puppet master, Mostyn; a neatly curved companion, Miss Hester Havisham; exploits, escapes and escapades in a tank and a helicopter and an outrageous group calling themselves the International Travelling Circus.
And if he is not careful, the Traitor's Exit might also be his own.
John Gardner, whose Boysie Oakes has become required reading for spy lovers since he first appeared in ‘The Liquidator’, has written a tale that’s part satire, part farce, always zany and certainly not for those who take their spy fiction too seriously.
The Final Volume Of The Secret Generations Trilogy
Now Available For Your Kindle
John Gardner's ‘The Secret Generations’ was acclaimed as one of the classic works of Cold War espionage fiction.
‘The Secret Families’ is the final shattering move in the trilogy, the checkmate from a grand master of espionage.
The year is 1964.
The Cold War is at its height and Caspar Railton, the 'wounded lion' of the Railton clan, which for decades has dominated British Intelligence, is dead.
Even worse, evidence has emerged suggesting Caspar was a traitor and suspicion surrounds not only the Railtons but also the Farthings, the American family of spymasters connected by marriage to their British counterparts.
Yet Naldo refuses to accept his uncle's guilt and is determined to clear both families' names. With his cousin Arnold Farthing he embarks on a quest to uncover Caspar's past, a mission which takes both men deep into some of the most dangerous territory any agent can enter …
'The Secret Families' completes John Gardner's The Secret Generations trilogy, which is a giant work of fiction drawn from the dramatic history of Britain’s intelligence and security services. Through the story of one family, the Railtons, whose lives become caught up in some of the greatest struggles of the twentieth century, Gardner traces the birth, the early clashes, the successes and failures of the organizations now known as M15, M16 and GCHQ.
'Cool polished story-telling with all the sexy sidelines in the best James Bond tradition'
Drastic plans are being put into action.
But Boysie Oakes, the suave, womanising special agent for British Intelligence, is unaware of the events unfolding around him - and is revelling in being free from the treacherous clutches of Special Security.
Boysie, his former boss Mostyn and Charlie Griffin, have set up their own Security Service, GRIMOBO.
Their first assignment has brought them to New York and Boysie has snatched a vacation at Cape Kennedy.
Life is looking up.
But, of course, something has to go wrong. It's just a small thing. Some light-fingered swine makes off with a Saturn V rocket.
What's more, Boysie seems to have disappeared too.
The same thieves that wanted the rocket want Boysie. For a change, though, they want him alive. Very much alive.
And totally functional.
Boysie’s holiday turns out to be the trip of a lifetime and he ends up travelling further than he ever expected. But all is not lost as of course a beautiful woman is also along for the ride.
And Boysie Oakes is about to be plunged into the most dramatic adventure of his career.
And Boysie Oakes is back in another terrifying adventure.
The reluctant assassin has been sent to Berlin to make a kill 'in the cold' on the other side of the Wall.
Trying to remember his own code-name, he is soon battling enemies that include Russian secret servicemen, psychotropic drugs and a silky Chinese stripper called Rosy Puberty.
Both the Soviets and the Chinese want to track down his target, and Boysie is caught up in a deadly game of power politics.
And despite his best efforts, Boysie finds himself drawn into a far more sinister conspiracy - a face-to-face confrontation with the legendary Soviet spymaster General Khavichev.
‘Madrigal’ is the fourth in the Boysie Oakes series of novels by John Gardner. Tightly written and packed with incredible twists, ‘Madrigal’ is a brilliant continuation of the story of Gardner’s cowardly professional assassin.