Written by Mr P.P. Wyngarde and T. Bate
Only one aspect of the colourful, amusing and romantic crime-novelist-investigator, Jason king, was empathised in Department S. Jason came into the stories when called upon to help solve baffling crimes for INTERPOL. Seen more briefly was the other aspect of him – the successful writer with the world at his fingertips.
Tumbling headlong into adventure, whether he sought it or not, Jason was lured into danger by those who thought they could make use of him. He jet-propelled himself into situations because of his insatiable curiosity, and was tricked into all sorts of trouble because of his reputation.
Accompanied throughout his adventures by some of the world’s most intriguing characters, and seeking inspiration for his best-selling Mark Caine novels, Jason’s enquiring mind led him into everything from international intrigue to local revolutions. From tense drama to comedy-filled situations. From dire peril to the welcoming arms of a beautiful girl. This is HIS story…
Jason King was born on 25th December, 1941, in Darjeeling, India; the only son of Robert James King – President of the KingSteel International Engineering Corporation and his wife, the Countess Theresa de Jouvert. His family line can be traced back to the 11th century, since his mother was not only a direct descendent of Louis XIV of France, but his father’s connections produced not one, but two, American presidents this century.
As a young child, Jason showed none of the creative flair for the pen that he would later in life. In fact, his talents appeared to lie in the field of music, and by the age of 7, he was already proficient with the violin and had reached Grade 5 at the piano. In spite of being hailed as something of a child protégé by his tutor, Jason abandoned the keyboard at the age of 11 when he left the musical arena for the fields of Eton.
Having excelled at both rugby and boxing at his new school Jason, unfortunately, began to attract the wrong kind of attention from his schoolmasters, and was expelled for ‘unruly behaviour’ at the end of his third term. After spending the summer holidays at his mother’s ancestral home in the South of France, Jason was sent to live with his maiden aunt in Vevey, Switzerland, where he completed his education.
Dismissing his parents’ wishes for him to return to England to study law at Cambridge University, Jason took up a position with a national newspaper as a freelance journalist, but after becoming increasingly restless with the restrictions that bound him, he handed in his resignation and went to join a couple of old college chums in Morocco. It was there that he found himself on the wrong side of the law for the first time in his life when, after some high-jinx following a 24-hour drinking binge, he managed to get himself arrested for gun-running and gold-smuggling!
Fortunately for Jason, his father’s intervention succeeded in convincing the Morroccan authorities that the accusation against his wayward son were unfounded, and after a brief return to England Mr King senior, through his connections in the Colonies, insisted that Jason take a position with the Hong Kong Police Department as a Forensic Adviser.
In the summer of 1963, whilst dining out one evening at the Hong Kong Hilton with family friend and colleague, Alan Keeble, Jason was introduced to the English actress, Marion West who, at the time, was on location in the City. There was an instant attraction between the two – much to the dismay of Keeble, who was himself in love with the beautiful Ms West (although his feelings had never been reciprocated). One week later, on June 21st, the couple were married at a small church in Chelsea, west London, with Keeble acting as Jason’s Best Man.
After seeing out his obligations of his three-year contract with the Hong Kong police, during which time he’d become fluent in Chinese, Russian and Italian, Jason and his wife returned to London, where Marion resumed her career in the West End, and Jason began to realise his talent for writing short stories, many of which were published.
In October of 1966, Marion left London for the United States to star in a new Harold Pinter play in New York, whilst he husband, who was at last making a name for himself as a writer, remained in London to work on his second novel, ‘From China, Yours Sincerely’.
Having played to sell-out audiences every night on Broadway for two months, Marion was looking forward to returning home to London where she was to tell Jason that she was expecting their first child. On arriving at Kennedy Airport on the morning of December 23rd, Marion was to learn that her flight had been diverted to Chicago. She immediately called Jason and told him not to expect her home until later that evening. It was to be the last time that he would ever speak to his beautiful young wife, as the plane on which she was travelling crashed just five minutes after taking off in dense fog with the loss of 326 passengers and crew.
After Marion’s untimely death, the grieving author threw himself wholeheartedly into his work, and following on from the success of ‘From China, Most Sincerely’, Jason penned what is arguably his most famous novel, ‘Index Finger, Left Hand’, which remained on the International Best Sellers List for more than five years.
In May of 1968, at the personal recommendation of the Home Secretary himself, Jason was approached by Sir Curtis Seretse – head of the newly formed Department S; an off-shoot of INTERPOL, to assist in solving a most baffling crime which had been perpetrated in the heart of London. Having enjoyed his work with the Department a great deal, Jason was asked to lend his services on a more regular basis, and so he teamed up with two other agents – Annabelle Hurst and American, Stewart Sullivan. Together, they helped to solve some of the world’s most intriguing crimes.
In 1971, after sustaining a gunshot wound to his left leg during a mission in Spain, Jason decided it was time to leave Department S to concentrate on his writing, and found some solace at his new homes in Paris and Geneva. In July of that year, he was awarded the prestigious ‘Enzio Prize for Literature’, which was presented to him in Zurich. Thanks to the huge sales of his Mark Caine novels which, at that time had topped over 136 million, Jason King was hailed as the most popular novelist in the word.
Fame and fortune proved to have it drawbacks, however, as Jason suddenly found himself catapulted into the Super Tax bracket back home in Britain, so for the second time in his life he found himself on the wrong side of the law, after a much-publicised altercation with Her Majesties Inspector of Taxes. It resulted in the scribe exiling himself to Paris on a permanent basis.
Whilst the Inland Revenue laid siege to Jason’s bruised and battered bank account, his accountants worked tirelessly in an attempt to stem the flow of his fortune into the Treasury coffers. To this end, Jason was instructed to take on a number of staff – which, at his own insistence, consisted of women mainly under the age of 25, to run his business affairs. It was also suggested that he invest much of his cash in off-shore concerns, which included a hotel and leisure complex in the Bahamas, and a country residence in Surrey, which he claimed was run by his maiden aunt, Ms Claire Devlin… aged 21!
Jason’s plans to live a life of relaxation following his departure from Department S was, regrettably, short lived, as his reputation as a playboy-adventurer frequently preceded him. From Venice to Berlin, Moscow to Bangkok – wherever Jason went, trouble was sure to follow.
In 1972, he met and fell in love with a young French woman by the name of Toki who, at that moment in time, was involved with the notorious gangster, Jean le Grand. Jason’s own involvement with Toki was his first serious relationship since the death of his wife some eight years earlier, and in spite of Toki’s concerns for his safety, Jason insisted that they continue their affair. Over the course of several months, Toki would meet with Jason whenever she could free herself from le Grand’s clutches, but when it became apparent that the girl herself was now in danger, Jason reluctantly sent her away to what he believed was a safe haven at a chateau he rented in Neice. Two weeks after giving birth to a son, Robert Jason, Toki was found murdered at the rustic hideaway and the child, unbeknown to Jason, was taken and raised by Toki’s elder sister at her home in Nemes.
Devastated by Toki’s death, Jason returned from his jet-setting lifestyle and became a total recluse, living and working at a monastic retreat in the mountains of Tibet. In 1996, he returned to London, where it was suggested that he might once again take up a position with INTERPOL – purely in an advisory capacity.
It has also recently been reported that a 45-year old Frenchman had succeeded in tracing Jason to his country retreat in Surrey, and upon their meeting presented himself as the author’s son, Robert. Although initially Jason’s vanity would not allow him to believe that he could possibly have a son of 45, Robert’s incredible charm, devastating good-looks and rapier wit soon convinced Jason that no-one else could possibly be his father.
JASON KING PERSONAL FILE
Name: Jason King
Date of Birth: 25th December, 1941
Place of Birth: Darjeeling, India.
Mother: Countess Theresa de Jouvert
Father: Robert James King, OBE
Marital Status: Widower
Colour of Eyes: Blue
Colour of Hair: Dark brown
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 161 pounds (11.5 stones)
Homes: Luxury apartments in London, Geneva and Paris. Farmhouse in Surrey, England.
Achievements: Second place in the 169 Le Mans Grand Prix. Won the Enzio Prize for Literature, 1971.
Skills: Black belt in Judo and Karate. Proficient in the use of firearms.
Cars: Two Bentley Continentals.
Vices: Beautiful women, Sobranie cigarettes, Balenciga aftershave, Stornaway Scotch Whiskey, strawberries and vintage Champagne.
Languages Spoken: English, French, Russian, Chinese and Italian
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