Saturday, 27 May 2017
-Poul Anderson, Murder In Black Letter, Chapter 16.
It makes sense:
in the chaos of war and post-war reconstruction, there would be opportunities for black-marketeering and other criminality;
when legitimate society reconstructed itself, so did the Mafia;
there were opportunities for people in the US Army;
Communists had had to adopt a secretive "cell" organizational form that was adaptable to criminal activities.
Thus, in novels of the fifties and sixties, the War was more than a recent event. It and its aftermath provided motives for the characters. Some of James Bond's villains are WWII left-overs. In the recent UNCLE film, Napoleon Solo:
was in the US Army in Europe;
smuggled art works;
had to choose between prison and joining the new CIA;
worked with Waverley of British Naval Intelligence and Kuryakin of the KGB against a new common threat;
thus became part of a new team, UNCLE.
Pretty smart stuff.