Monday, January 9, 2017

Death Stalk In Spain

Secret Mission #14: “Death Stalk In Spain” by Don Smith. Phil Sherman, now a private detective, with his Paris machine equipment company as a cover, is attached to the CIA. In this latest case, he’s working for a Navy captain in Intelligence. A lieutenant pilot of a new submersible has killed his partner and disappeared with the little submarine. In Spain he discovers that the lieutenant may have discovered the sunken ship with ten tons of gold the Nazis were responsible for. It’s what the lieutenant wants, and standing between him and the NAZI commander that sunk the ship is a beautiful girl who may be playing everyone for a fool, including Sherman. This was another pretty good yarn, though the author has got to run out of NAZIs soon. Lots of fun.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Lucifer's Weekend

Digger #4: “Lucifer’s Weekend” by Warren Murphy. Digger, Julian Burroughs, is sent to Belton, PA to try to talk the widow, Louis Giillette, in accepting the accidental death clause of one million dollars in her husbands death, but she refuses, saying it would make her genius husband look like an idiot. She only wants the 500 thousand dollars, and forget the accident.  He had been electrocuted while attempting to change a fuse in a breaker box, when there are no fuses in a breaker box, and he’s an electrical genius and would have known that.  She and her daughter are the only ones in town who think he was murdered. Now Digger does also, and he’s willing to investigate. The usual tomfoolery and craziness, but a fun story, nonetheless.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Dealer Of Death

Dirty Harry #12: The Dealer of Death by Dane Hartman (unknown). James William Gallant was arrested and sent to prison by Inspector Callahan, where he spent six and a half years before escaping. Now, his ambition is to cause Dirty Harry problems before killing him. Setting up his own death to make everyone think his dead, he won’t be suspected in crimes now. He steals Callahan’s famous gun and kills several people known to hate Dirty Harry, which eventually leads to Callahan’s suspension from the force. Gallant also ties up with an end-of-the-world survival group made up of paramilitary men with a hideout in the woods. This was actually a pretty good entry in the series, even though not by Ric Meyers. Well worth reading.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Power Barons

Hawk #3: The Power Barons by Dan Streib. Mike Hawk receives a call while relaxing in Acapulco. An engineer in a nuclear power plant found out that Mike holds a high position in the company, and they are fighting a possible meltdown. Hawk wasn’t aware that he held any interest in the power plant, and it turns out he doesn’t. His CIA buddy had released the information to the engineer so Hawk would be brought in. Hawk jets to the location in time to help make the right decision to stop the meltdown. An environmentalist group is on hand protesting the power plant. Someone wants a lot of deaths, it seems. Naturally, a beautiful girl is leading the protestors, and she may have something to do with the incident. Returning to Acapulco he decides to do some scuba diving and sees a naked girl also in the water. Yep, it’s the same girl who was at the protest at the US power plant. Before he can catch her two scuba divers try to kill them, and Hawk kills one and saves the girl while the other man, injured, escapes. Taking her to the boat, they make love all night, and then she deserts him for another boat. Then more men try to frame him for the assassination of the US Vice President who is also in Mexico to make a speech, but Hawk escapes the frame and kills one of the men. Now, whoever wants him dead (and the reader knows from the start who the mastermind is), his boat is attacked and blown up killing his men. He and his CIA pal are running around dodging bullets and escaping traps, until Hawk learns that an oil tanker is heading for a port in a storm, and the girl is waiting with more protesters, so he has the CIA buddy grab him another jet, then a helicopter to set him on the doomed tanker, where he is again almost killed. Well, it sounds like a lot of action, and really it is. However, the story doesn’t hold your interest. Mike Hawk was a newspaperman until situations put him in charge of super funds, which is now in a company called Crusader, making him The Crusader. The mastermind is super rich; he just wants power now. The way he plans on getting it is through energy and position. But since Hawk messes up some of his plans, he decides he needs the challenge and keeps after the ex-newspaperman. It could have been a pretty good story, but the writing just fails to keep the reader (me, in this case) interested in all that is going on. Really, it should have been a quick read, but took me three days to read.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Scorpio by Mike Roote (Leonore Fleischer): A movie novelization. Scorpio (Jean Laurier) has been contracted to kill his partner, Cross, by CIA Chief, McLeod. But Cross feels the heat, and knows it’s time to disappear. He sets up his exit, leaving his wife to follow when time is right. His Russian friend, Zharkov, hides him in Vienna, but it doesn’t take the CIA long to trail him. Plus, Russia wants Cross to come over to their side. Soon, there are too many trails to Cross, and Scorpio knows his every move. The story was terribly slow, but the characters kept the story interesting, even if there wasn’t a lot of action. Nor did I find any of the characters worth rooting for. Plus, there were deeper mysteries behind why the CIA wanted Cross eliminated. The story ends with an unexpected twist, though the reader by now is probably not interested. It was a fast and easy ready, however, and I like books that are quick reads.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Secret Mission Angola

Secret Mission #9: “Angola” by Don Smith. His CIA contact asks Phil Sherman to try and find a black rebel leader in Africa and promise him money and support to back his fight for control of Angola. The only one who may know his whereabouts is an ex prisoner now living in Lisbon, so Sherman starts there. The first half of the book takes place in Lisbon, as Sherman is framed for murder and must hide out from both the police and those men who set him up. Here he meets two women, Meia Gomes and Carlotta, who provide the romantic interest while he’s trying to stay alive. When he leaves Lisbon for Angola in the second half of the book, Meia goes with him, but is kidnapped by the opposition when they arrive. Now Sherman must seek the aid of Manuel Arrabida, the rebel leader to help him get her back. He recruits the help of an ex Green Beret training the rebels at an old Fort. Finally reaching the rebel camp he speaks with Arrabida and is introduced to the rebel’s beautiful sister, Senguela, a vicious jungle fighter. She takes Sherman under her wings to protect him, and the rest of the story revolves around her instead of Meia. I do believe Phil Sherman is better with women than James Bond. Although the first half of the book is very busy, the story really takes off when we move into Angola. Most stories are well written, and the author is well versed in world politics and geography, some of the stories do come across as a bit better than others. This is one of them, and was a fun read. Sherman is merely a CIA asset, not an agent, but willingly takes on dangerous assignments that could result in his death.