Kane Jackson, Corporate Spy

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The Kane Jackson Series
“If company secrets are being leaked, get Kane Jackson.” — New York Times
Originally published under the pseudonym William Arden

The five Kane Jackson books are believed to be the first corporate espionage series ever. One of Dennis Lynds’s most interesting characters, the closemouthed Kane is cold and cynical, a smoker and hard drinker, who works undercover and often uses his military background to get the job done. But then, he knows just how far some executives will go to steal billion-dollar secrets — or to protect the ones they own. The covert work is a natural for Kane — he spent several eye-opening years in U.S. military intelligence, and as far as he’s concerned, the Soviet secret police were soft targets compared to an American executive in business trouble. In the cut-throat world of industrial espionage, there are no rules, and the ruthless thrive. Kane will go even further than them to protect the innocent and weak and serve justice in this series The Financial Times hailed as “excellent.”

#1 — A Dark Power, 1968
“Brilliantly plotted, with a great twist at the end.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In the pharmaceutical world, miracle drugs are considered the pot of gold at the end of the chemistry rainbow — they not only save lives, they also make billions of dollars in profits. When a vial of a top-secret experimental drug that’s expected to revolutionize antibiotics vanishes from a clandestine lab, Kane Jackson is called in. He has two questions — did a rival pharma house plant a mole to steal the drug, or did a professional thief somehow evade the cutting-edge security to snatch it? As he searches for answers, Kane uncovers a cabal that will risk anything to disguise the drug as their own and take it to market. Even more dangerous, he must figure out how to steal it back. Five people die, one after the other, until it looks inevitable that Kane Jackson will be the sixth.

#2 — Deal in Violence, 1969
“Exciting.” — Library Journal

Mix corporate double-dealing with blackmail, national politics, and murder — and you get a case tailored for Kane Jackson, corporate spy. Kane accepts a short but highly paid assignment from a California businessman to investigate a company he wants to buy. At first Kane finds no problems and the company appears worth the price. But then he hears the agonizing screams of a man being savagely beaten, and the next morning his devious client is found shot to death. Kane’s investigations of high-powered politicians and a deadly romantic triangle lead to Washington, D.C. In the wilds of business, no one is safe, especially the man who is supposed to protect the secrets. Kane Jackson’s short assignment has just turned into a long nightmare.

#3 — The Goliath Scheme, 1971
“A crime novel you can sink your teeth into.” — The Houston Post

Deals are the heart of business, and in Big Business, the wrong deal can be a real killer. There’s only one piece of paper that memorializes a critical agreement between two giant corporations, and it’s vanished. Kane Jackson is brought in to find it. The two companies need each other, but outsiders want to see them self-destruct. Caught in the cross-fire are three people desperate to control the deal paper — an attractive wife with a murky past, a company president fighting to save his fortune, and a brilliant scientist who escaped the Iron Curtain and created a valuable formula. Kane is threatened. His phone is tapped. Soon he discovers spies have infiltrated both companies, and two gunmen are taking down people who might have answers. In a maelstrom of violence and conflicting loyalties, Kane Jackson himself becomes the number one target.

#4 — Die to a Distant Drum, 1972
“Suspenseful…. The plot is very much of our time.” — New York Times

In a desperate gamble, industrial spy Kane Jackson uses military intelligence connections to infiltrate a five-member cell of the violent Weathermen, who are secretly using a chemical plant to build bombs. Accepted by them as a fuse artist, he has the run of the place every night, while he carries out his real job — photographing documents that prove the company’s founder has pirated a valuable process. When Kane gets his hands on the evidence and slips away, the enormous building explodes in a fireball. One of the Weathermen women dies. Kane tells the police, but they’re able to capture only the cell’s leader; the three others escape. And an autopsy shows the dead woman wasn’t killed in the explosion; she was murdered. Furious, the police chief gives Kane a choice — either the chief turns him over to the FBI as a Weatherman, or Kane goes back undercover to reveal the murderer and round up all of the terrorist bomb-makers.

#5 — Deadly Legacy, 1973
“This one is the best so far. Good escape reading.” — New York Times

Cassius Warsavage is a natural target for espionage. In fact, he’s an industry in himself — engineer, businessman, and free-wheeling promoter.   He’s invented and commercialized vital improvements for jets, autos, military tanks, rapid-transit systems, and rocket controls. And now he’s finalized his crowning achievement — a pollution-free rotary engine that will replace most car engines and clean the air. The oil companies will love it. The environmentalists will love it. But someone has stolen the plans. In fact speculators are already profiting from what the new product will mean to the market. Desperate, Warsavage hires Kane Jackson to track down the thief. Following a trail of deceit and greed from New York to Georgia, Kane fights for facts until a last violent confrontation in which the truth is finally forced out.