The Dr. Palfrey series is a series of suspense, thriller, and crime fiction books written by the successful British author named John Creasey. This series consists of a total of 34 books released between the years 1942 and 1979. All the novels feature Doctor Stanislaus Palfrey as the lead character, who is described as a physician by profession. Actually, he runs a combat organization called the Z-5 and is the head as well as a fellow spy of the agency. As a physician, Dr. Palfrey is very well known. He gets lured into the elite espionage of the world around him due to the increasing crime rate. During the course of the series, Dr. Palfrey’s character undergoes a lot of transformations. At first, he fights in the Second World War and then goes on to become second in command at the end of it. Even though he returns back to his civilian life after the war, he gets drawn into the action again and becomes the head of the Z-5. In the series, it is shown that only a few spies in the spy-fi’s history have undergone the fascinating series of transformations similar to that of Dr. Palfrey. As his character changes with the passage of time, the challenges that he faces, his country and organization reflect a number of the real life difficulties that author Creasey saw the mankind face. From the point of view of characterization, the transformations in Dr. Palfrey makes a good sense. Being a specialist physician in the curing of tuberculosis, he gets the chance to work as a spy by becoming a member of an espionage organization of elite, multinational status that fights against the Axis at the time of the war.
With the completion of each mission, Palfrey keeps gaining confidence and slowly moves up the rank . Shortly after he reaches the rank of second in command, Dr. Palfrey begins to think that his talents are no more needed as a spy agent. So, he resigns and returns back to his normal life and continues to work as a doctor. But, the civilian life also does not suit him, therefore, he gets drawn towards the Z-5 organization for a few times. Finally, he returns to work full time by becoming the leader and begins to fight against the newest enemies of stability and freedom. Author John Creasey saw a number of perils that the mankind and the planet faced and used them to justify the characterization of Dr. Palfrey. He even used the natural phenomena which were usually aided by the scientists with ill intentions in order to demonstrate his viewpoint. Some of the events that he has described in the series include huge floods due to the melting of ice caps, mass destruction of the grain crops causing mass starvation, large scale death of the livestock, etc. Author Creasey has described Dr. Palfrey and his organization trying to combat these calamities. Another amazing thing about the author’s description of the danger to the mankind is that he actually described the happening of all the calamities in great detail. An example of that is the wiping out of the Great Britain several times and the death of millions of people across the world. In order to demonstrate the peril’s severity, author John Creasey also went as far as having tragedy strike the personal life of Dr. Palfrey. Overall, the novels in the series have a delightful pulpish feel to them. This is one of the factors that made the audience read and enjoy the series very much. The debut book of the Dr. Palfrey series was released under the title ‘Traitor’s Doom’. In this book, author John Creasey has described that the Nazi agents try to work in the neutral European countries in an attempt to subvert and provide more victims for the ‘Third Reich’. As a result, Dr. Palfrey and his team called Rescue Squad face the challenge of meeting with the dangerous treachery and overcome the might of the Nazi forces in their quest for gaining the control of power over the world. Even though Dr. Palfrey and his team face the danger of getting caught, it is important for them to succeed at any cost as the fates of the allied countries depend upon the outcome of their mission.
One of the initial novels released in the Dr. Palfrey series was titled as ‘The Perilous Country’. This book was published by the Walker and Company publishers in the year 1966. The opening scene of the story shows that Palfrey and his colleague Stefan are asked to go to the German-captured Yugoslovakia and get in contact with the leader of the Chetnik guerrillas named General Mihail. They are also asked to discuss the supply and delivery of the weapons to the Chetcnik guerrillas and to aid them for re-affirming the Allied commitment by providing support. While on the mission, both men come to know that Germany is getting all the information about the movements and plans of the Chetnik guerrillas. Therefore, it becomes more important for Stefan and Dr. Palfrey to find the source of the leaking information among the Chetniks and discover the traitor.
Another novel published initially in the Dr. Palfrey series written by author John Creasey is titled as ‘Death in the Rising Sun’. This novel was first released in the year 1945 and then re-released by the Walker Books in the year 1967. At the beginning of the story, it is depicted that the several elements from the High Command of Germany visit Japan as the World War II approaches its end. Due to this, the allied countries feared that the war in Europe will come to an end only after they combat an unexpectedly fierce resistance in the East. As a result, Dr. Palfrey is sent to the East in order to carry out a daring mission. He disguises as an officer from the German forces and seeks The Fourth Reich Colony that was believed to be situated somewhere in China. Dr. Palfrey becomes successful in obtaining some vital information related to the possible kidnapping of an important person. He also learns that this kidnapping is going to change the war’s whole outcome. But, before he could deliver this important information to his country, his disguise gets uncovered. Now, he is required to come out alive and safe as the fate of the allies depends on the successful delivery of the information and well in time.Book Series In Order » Characters » Dr. Palfrey