Anthony Price (born 16 August 1928 in Hertfordshire, England) is an author of espionage thrillers.
He is the author of nineteen novels in the Dr David Audley/Colonel Jack Butler series. These books focus on a group of counter-intelligence agents who work for an organization modeled on MI5. They usually refer to their employer obscurely as "the Ministry of Defence", though it becomes clear in Our Man in Camelot that their specific department is rather like MI5. Other Paths to Glory mentions that the secret agency's budget is hidden under "Research and Development". The agency is headed by Sir Frederick Clinton and then by Colonel Jack Butler. Its best agent is David Audley, a historian turned spy. Audley is known for his unorthodox tactics and perhaps surprisingly his fondness for quoting Kipling, especially Stalky & Co..
Audley appears in each of the novels, but is not always the "point of view" character. In the first novel, The Labyrinth Makers, in which Audley meets his future wife, he is the central character, but other operatives are introduced and later have books of their own, including Jack Butler (Colonel Butler's Wolf), Squadron Leader Hugh Roskill (The Alamut Ambush), and historian Paul Mitchell, whom Audley first recruits in Other Paths to Glory. As in John le Carré's Smiley novels, there are rivalries and enmities within the department, but Price takes this further by telling whole books through the eyes of those who oppose or dislike Audley: notably Sion Crossing, in the voice of Oliver Latimer. Price's fictional spy service belongs to a more recent Britain than le Carré's, and includes women among its active agents: first Frances Fitzgibbon and later Elizabeth Loftus. Audley's Russian opponent, Professor Panin, also makes repeated appearances, and a recurring plot in the later novels concerns the "Debrecen List" of people who may, or may not, have attended a spy school in Debrecen, a city in eastern Hungary.
The novels traverse "real time", in that the characters change and evolve with each episode, with approximately twenty years elapsing between the first and last novel; a few titles cut away from this time-line by showing the youthful exploits of Audley and Butler during and after the Second World War. An unusual feature of the plots is that they are all somehow connected with one or more important events in military history, with most containing a strong element of archeology.
Source: Wikipedia, "Anthony Price", available under the CC-BY-SA License.