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I read this book in the 80's, but it was pretty old at the time. What I recall:

  • Hero character is a secret agent of some kind.
  • Technology organization ("Q Branch" basically) provides him with some sort of atomic vehicle, upon which they put a governor to prevent it from going past the speed of light. Like Chekhov's gun or "never press this button!", in the last part of the book he has to remove it in order to go back in time (or something).
  • He has to go to the villain's lair, but he takes some sort of medicine which enables him to reshape his face (like putty) in order to pose as the villain's son.
  • The villain manipulates events so that he gets a minor poke, drawing blood, and he secretly has the hero's blood analyzed, and it's the wrong bloodtype. ("My son's blood is type O").

It had a pulpy, Tom Swift type of feel, and it wasn't at all high literature. But I'm wondering what it was. I'm pretty sure that the events listed above were all in the same book, but I may be conflating two different series.

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The Space Eagle by Jack Pearl

Paul Girard of Girard Enterprises is recruited by the President of the United States to be a secret agent. His sister has invented various gadgets for him to use, including a hormone pill that temporarily renders flesh to be like clay, to allow the face to be sculpted for disguise purposes

But the prize is the Swift, an antimatter powered spacecraft that his sister puts a governor on because she cannot trust him to avoid exceeding the speed of light. At the end of the mission he has to manually remove it so as to travel back in time to stop global thermonuclear war

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  • Oh wow! I'd been trying to remember this one for a long time now. Read it when I was a kid, but couldn't remember enough about it to put together a decent question. Definitely a "pulp" novel in flavor, but a fun read. – Helbent IV May 12 '18 at 9:25
  • There was a sequel as well. See the link. – Winchell Chung May 12 '18 at 13:02

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