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Written and set around the late 60s/early 70s. Members of "The Agency" (FBI/CIA type organisation) are investigating the origins of spies who have capsules or something implanted in the back of their neck, and who melt when captured. Eventually they discover they are aliens, scouts for an invasion fleet. The humans also meet good aliens who help earth build their own fleet, which meets the enemy in the outer solar system in the final chapters.

  • When did you read this book? Was it new? – Möoz Jan 20 '17 at 1:38
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    Approx 1974, have edited original post, also thanks for adding story identification tag, couldn't find appropriate tag earlier. – MartinB Jan 20 '17 at 1:51
  • Excellent. Now can you add any more details? Name of people, places? More plot points. – Möoz Jan 20 '17 at 2:18
  • About an adult book I half-read when I was eight forty years ago? No! Well I could, but I wouldn't know if they were from other books, tropes or dreams :-) – MartinB Jan 20 '17 at 3:44
  • That's totally ok, any details are good. – Möoz Jan 20 '17 at 4:56
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This outline has some similarities to The Puppet Masters by R.A. Heinlein. It came out in 1951 but was reprinted by Signet/NAL in 1971 and 1975.

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    Can you also add which details seem similar? – Gallifreyan Jun 28 '17 at 19:10
  • Certainly has some similarities, will check it out thanks. – MartinB Jul 3 '17 at 8:58
  • Yes, allowing for several decades of memory blurring, i think this is it, thanks... – MartinB May 24 '18 at 6:56
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This seems very similar to The Invaders, a TV series that ran in 1967 and 1968. Aliens had invaded Earth, and been discovered by one man who spent the series trying to get others to help him fight them. The aliens (almost all) had a deformed pinky finger, and in a couple episodes were seen in their alien form or reverting to that form -- an effect that might have been describe in the novelization as "melting".

What you read was probably the novelization, likely a collection of several episodes in a single cover, similar to the novelizations of other popular SF series such as Star Trek or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

  • Yeah I think its the Puppet Masters (see below) but its always good to meet someone who has watched "The Invaders". Its an interesting show, its also interesting how different the pacing of the show is compared to modern series. – MartinB May 24 '18 at 6:58

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