Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Death Is My Shadow

Death Is My Shadow by Edward S. Aarons:  Pete Byrum is home after being called up for Naval maneuvers for six months. His partner in The Pelican, a club and casino they own in Oswanda, Louisiana, has been arrested for murder, and the syndicate’s man, Alden Thayer, is now running the casino. Pete wants the club back, but the syndicate now controls the town, the sheriff, and his lawyer, and the deck is stacked against him. Pete Helps his partner escape jail when he discovers the man he’s suspected of murdering is really alive. Now Pete is wanted for the man’s murder, while his partner runs away with Thayer’s wife and the syndicate’s money. This was really a good story, and had all the backstory for what would eventually be Aarons’ later Assignment spy series, featuring Sam Durell.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Skin Swindle

Ninja Master #7: “The Skin Swindle” by Wade Barker (Unknown). Brett Hartley reads a newspaper article about pornography in Los Angeles, and the mysterious Porn King that runs the network of smut films and kiddie porn, and decides he wants to put a stop to it. He brings his pal, Jeff Archer with him from San Francisco, and he sets up a meeting with the reporter, Samantha Loring to get inside information, pretending to be a reporter from Japan. The story is long and boring, the first 75 pages is nothing but the set up, describing child pornography, and is so badly written I wonder how it was ever considered for publication. 7 to 10-year-old kids talk like children one minute and adults the next. But, then, pornography does sale, and that’s basically all this was. We do see some martial arts later on, but it was laughable, and I’m still wondering why Jeff Archer was included. He never did anything right. Maybe he was just there to show how good Brett Hartley is? This isn’t worth reading, so save your money. It should have been titled The Book Swindle.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Night of The Assassin

Secret Mission #16: “Night of The Assassin” by Don Smith. Phil Sherman, now an agent of the CIA, is sent to Albania to check on rumors that the Chinese have nuclear warheads on rockets based there. The information seems planted, and no one truly believes in the nuclear situation. But the report had hidden meanings, and in the end it isn’t nuclear warheads that are the problems, it’s an assassination that could throw the world into a nuclear war. This was another good story. The author knows world history, and the Cold War set up that he writes about. A fun story.

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.