Adam Hall, AKA Elleston Trevor, wrote many Cold War spy thrillers. Upon leaving school, he was apprenticed as a racing driver, but when World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force, serving as a flight engineer. Dictated the last chapters of his final novel, Quiller Balalaika, while lying on his death bed. He passed away three days after the book's completion.
List of Books:
(1) The Berlin/Quiller Memorandum (1965); republished as The Quiller Memorandum
Summary: You are a secret agent working for the British in Berlin. You are due to go home on leave, but you are being followed-by your own people, or by the enemy. A man meets you in the theater and briefs you on a plot to revive the power of Nazi Germany. You do not believe him, but you remember that one of the suspects mentioned was a senior SS officer you met with in the days when you were working as a spy in Nazi Germany. The next day you make contact with a beautiful girl who may know something. Someone tries to kill both of you. Your name is Quiller. You are the hero of an extraordinary novel which shows how a spy works, how messages are coded and decoded, how contacts are made, how a man reacts under the influence of truth drugs-and which traces the story of a vastly complex, entertaining, convincing, and sinister plot.
(2)The 9th Directive (1966)
Summary: When a security exercise goes wrong, a rogue agent must defend a British diplomat from Thai assassins Quiller is not an easy man to work with. Freethinking to the point of insubordination, he’s the kind of spy who gives his superiors ulcers. But his case file, going back to his work against the Nazis, speaks for itself. The Bureau ranks him as a #9 agent—Reliable Under Torture—and that’s the kind of man they need in Bangkok. Because an important British official is coming to visit, and the Bureau wants Quiller to plan the diplomat’s murder. Of course, it’s only a security exercise. The official will be traveling under top-notch protection, and they want Quiller to devise an assassination plot to test the abilities of his security detail. But for the diplomat and for Quiller, the danger quickly becomes real.
(3)The Striker Portfolio (1968)
Summary: London's secretive Bureau sends Quiller to investigate a suspicious rash of crashes of Strikers, West Germany's new supersonic jets. Quiller's hunt for the villains makes him a target for murder and ultimately a prisoner in East Germany's terrifying "asylum". All Quiller's brilliance, impulsiveness and courage are called on for him to survive and uncover the truth behind these murders.
(4)The Warsaw Document (1971)
Summary: Quiller is back, on another mission for London's top-secret Bureau. The setting is Warsaw, "a city whose winter is not only in the streets", and crucial East-West talks are imminent. As Control described it, the mission sounded innocuous enough: to break in a new young agent investigating a potential uprising by the anti-Soviet underground. But Quiller knows that, as always, there's more to his assignment. And he knows, too, that whatever the "more" is, it will come as a potentially fatal surprise.
(5)The Tango Briefing (1973)
Summary: London Bureau sends Quiller to the Sahara desert on a mission to examine a crashed freighter and its mysterious cargo. The danger to Quiller comes not only from the cargo itself and from political cells trying to capture Quiller, but also from his own Bureau's secret plans. The majesty and terrors of the desert are brought into sharp focus in this captivating novel about the character The New York Times called "the greatest survival expert among contemporary secret agents."
(6) The Mandarin Cypher (1975)
Summary: Sent on a mission to Hong Kong by the secretive London Bureau, Quiller is given little information about his goal. As Quiller pursues his investigations, while under constant surveillance and surviving assassination attempts, his mission's objective becomes evident. Quiller must swim through waters in Chinese territory, barely surviving underwater assaults, to get aboard a ship guarding what looks like an oil rig but is far more deadly. To achieve his mission and survive, Quiller's martial arts skills, including underwater combat, and his ability to outwit his enemies are brought into full play.
(7) The Kobra Manifesto (1976)
Book Summary: A Yugoslavian plane crashes in the south of France; a fuel tanker explodes at Rome airport, a British diplomat is shot dead in Phnom Penh. In each case Quiller, Adam Hall's relentless British agent witnesses the violence as he pursues a fanatical terrorist group known as Kobra.
(8) The Sinkiang Executive (1978)
Summary: A rash act by Quiller results in a threatened dismissal from the secret agency he works for -- unless he takes on a near-suicidal mission to fly a small plane into Russia that might be shot down at any moment. Hard-edged adventure and deadly confrontations reveal the darker side of Quiller's work.
(9) The Scorpion Signal (1979)
Still recovering from his last mission, Quiller is both annoyed and intrigued when the Chief of Operations at the London Bureau asks him to rescue a fellow field executive, Shapiro, who came out maimed from Moscow's notorious Lubyanka Prison. Now Shapiro seems to have been abducted from Germany by the KGB. Things start to go wrong immediately, as the truck carrying Quiller across the border into Russia is sabotaged, and not long after he arrives in Moscow, he is taken to Lubyanka Prison. Subsequent to his escape Quiller continues his hunt for the fellow agent. What he finds reveals a level of treachery unsuspected, and as the stakes are raised, as Quiller is in a race with time to stop an incident that could lead to World War III.
(10) The Peking Target (1982)
After two statesmen are assassinated and two top agents murdered, Quiller, the Bureau's number one agent, travels from Tian'anmen Square, to Seoul, to the Korean mountains on the trail of justice.
(11) Northlight (1985); published in the U.S. as Quiller's Run (1988)
Summary:After his last mission (see QUILLER) and feeling betrayed by the London Bureau, Quiller accepts what seems a freelance assignment involving the drug trade and armed rebellion in Southeast Asia. In Singapore Quiller is nearly killed by assassins of a ruthless female leader named Shoda, and his mission will involve using voodoo-style fear to keep Shoda from igniting a bloodbath in the region.
(12) Quiller KGB (1989)
Summary: Quiller is asked by London's Bureau to accept a mission with a completely new twist: to work with Russia's formidable and ruthless KGB. The Soviet Union's charismatic leader is headed for a diplomatic visit to East Berlin at a time when tensions surrounding the hated Berlin Wall are at their height. Quiller uncovers more than one conspiracy as he tries to stop a highly sophisticated assassin from killing Russia's General-Secretary.
(13) Quiller Barracuda (1990)
Summary:Quiller's latest field mission on behalf of British Intelligence is to discover whether a fellow British agent, located in Miami, is secretly working for another government or organization. Quiller finds himself in the crosshairs of the Florida mafia, Soviet spies and a cabal bent on world domination as he struggles to uncover the truth.
(14) Quiller Bamboo (1991)
Summary: London’s secret Bureau sends Quiller to Hong Kong to rescue a well-known Chinese dissident who might be able to lead an uprising that would topple the despotic Chinese regime. While the first rescue mission succeeds, Quiller and the rather intractable dissident he is guarding encounter enemies, some disguised as friends, after they land in Tibet’s high-mountain and desolate capital Llasa. Quiller must use ingenuity as well as his incomparable combat skills to survive this deadly environment.
(15) Quiller Solitaire (1992)
Summary: An agent who had asked Quiller for help is murdered, and Quiller insists on taking on the mission to avenge his fellow agent's death. However, Quiller's assignment turns into a more sinister and much larger mission, as Quiller infiltrates a Euro-terrorist organization with plans for mass murder. From London to Germany to the Sahara Desert and beyond, Quiller must keep his cover identity while trying to stop a major massacre.
(16) Quiller Meridian (1993)
Summary:A mission is blown in Bucharast: London's Bureau agent is killed and his Russian contact fled before priceless information could be delivered. Quiller is called in to track down the contact and proceed with the mission, code name Meridian. From the Siberian Express to the northern city of Novosibirsk, Quiller must follow increasingly elusive links to uncover the secret that, if unexposed, will destroy world stability and countless lives.
(17)Quiller Salamander (1994)
Summary: Eager for a new assignment, Quiller accepts a rogue mission from a Bureau director whom he does not trust. He is sent to Cambodia, where people are still living in terror of a return to power of Pol Pot, the homicidal dictator responsible for the Killing Fields that had left over a million people dead. Quiller must infiltrate terrorist organizations to discover Pol Pot's plans to return to power. His control makes increasingly dangerous demands, and Quiller's survival chances in the hot, dangerous and mysterious country seem slim.
(18)Quiller Balalaika (1996)
Summary:It's Quiller's most dangerous mission yet, and is also his last for the British intelligence agency so secret that it has no name. No matter that its orders originate at the Prime Minister level; if detected, it would be denied at that and every other level of the government. Quiller's orders this time take the pseudonymous operative to post–Cold War Russia to infiltrate the powerful and omnipresent mafiya that controls every sector and ruble of the country's fragile economy. More ruthless than the Sicilian brotherhood and as conscienceless as the Colombian drug cartels, the mafiya owns top politicians, judges, generals, bankers, and the police. Those it doesn't own it can buy, and those it doesn't choose to buy, it eliminates. Chief among the lawless mafiya lords stands a criminally brilliant British national, whom the agency wants taken out of play. Quiller learns that the one man who can help him achieve his goal is impounded in Gulank, the most infamous of all the gulags. Quiller must sneak his way into Gulank, and from a gulag that no prisoner has ever escaped, rescue the only person who can save his last, internationally vital mission.
Movies/ TV based on the novels:
The Quiller TV Series
The Quiller Memorandum