Haggard, William: The Scorpion's Tail
Title: The Scorpion’s Tail
Author: Haggard, William
Publisher: Walker Publishing Co. Inc.
Copyright: 1975 William Haggard
Synopsis: Colonel Charles Russell is the retired head of the Security Executive; he may no longer work for the organization, but he is never just a retired private citizen. On a package holiday in Spain Russell sees Alarcan (scorpion) island from his hotel window. When he is told the island is off limits to tourists, his curiosity has him bribe a boatman to take him take him there. When he is shot at, he decides that strategic retreat is a prudent policy.
Russell's curiosity increases when he is very politely warned by Major Luis Luz to mind his own business. The final spur to further investigation is a casual meeting with Don Ramiro who sold the island to two Brits, Samantha Gore, opera diva and Sher Singh her rich lover. Both are well-known to the Security Executive and both are busy preparing Britain for a Communist takeover, with them in the lead roles.
Russell bribes the boatman a second time to take him to the back of the island’s mountain which he climbs and finds at the top an ancient temple honoring a goddess whose guardian was a scorpion. He also gets a very good idea of what is really going on with the the supposed tourist development and, with the help of the goddess, eliminates a highly dangerous Cold War incident.