Oct 302014
The Smuggler #5: The Crystal Fortress, by Paul Petersen January, 1975  Pocket Books Perhaps proving out my theory that the Smuggler series actually had two authors, with Paul Petersen and David Oliphant trading installments, this fifth volume sort of returns to the sleazy feel of the second and third volumes, whereas the first and fourth volumes were anemic in that regard. But it’s nothing
Oct 272014
Chameleon #3: Garde Save The World!, by Jerry LaPlante No month stated, 1979  Zebra Books The third volume of the short-lived Chameleon series was also the last – and it appears to be the most scarce, these days. But when I read that narrating hero Vance Garde took on an army of female villains in this one, I knew I had to get a copy. Unfortunately, author Jerry LaPlante doesn’t turn in the
Oct 232014
The Marksman #10: Open Contract, by Frank Scarpetta March, 1974  Belmont Tower Books The previous volume of The Marksman ended with Philip Magellan on the French Riviera, where he was planning to continue waging his war against the Mafia in France. So then it only makes sense that this volume opens with Magellan in Houston, Texas, with absolutely no mention of the events of the preceding two
Oct 202014
Narc #6: The Beauty Kill, by Robert Hawkes March, 1975  Signet Books The sixth volume of the Narc series is full-on blaxploitation; hell, Superfly is even namedropped on the cover. Yet again our hero, John Bolt, is lost in the colorful shuffle, Marc Olden focusing more on his vast cast of street-wise villains. Also as usual, The Beauty Kill has no pickup from previous volumes; the Narc
Oct 162014
The Sharpshooter #11: Triggerman, by Bruno Rossi January, 1975  Leisure Books Russell Smith returns to the Sharpshooter series in what appears to be yet another of Smith’s Marksman manuscripts that was turned into a Sharpshooter novel. At first it’s hard to tell, as for once the editors managed to change most instances of “Magellan” into “Rock,” but as the novel progresses you can clearly
Oct 132014
John Eagle Expeditor #10: The Holocaust Auction, by Paul Edwards April, 1975  Pyramid Books Robert Lory turns in his final contribution to the John Eagle Expeditor series, and in his interview with me the other month Lory rated this installment as his personal favorite. At 158 pages, not only is The Holocaust Auction shorter than other volumes in the series, but it also features some
Oct 092014
Chameleon #2: In Garde We Trust, by Jerry LaPlante No month stated, 1979  Zebra Books A rare example of a late ‘70s men’s adventure series,* Chameleon ran for three volumes and was unusual for a few reasons. For one, like Decoy we have here a series where the title has nothing to do with the actual book – our hero does not refer to himself as “Chameleon,” and he doesn’t have any
Oct 062014
The Marksman #9: Body Count, by Frank Scarpetta February, 1974  Belmont Tower Books Picking up immediately after the previous volume, Body Count is yet another installment in the continuous Marksman storyline author Russell Smith developed, with sicko hero Philip Magellan blitzing into the French Riveria and killing mobsters. It’s also a lot more cohesive and enjoyable than that
Oct 022014
Death Squad #1: Gang War, by Frank Colter January, 1975  Belmont Tower Books In 1975, Manor Books published the five-volume Kill Squad series, which was about a trio of cops who liked to bend the rules in order to take down the guilty. That same year Belmont Tower published Death Squad, a two-volume series that was about a trio of cops who liked to bend the rules in order to take down the
Sep 292014
Bronson: Streets Of Blood, by Philip Rawls No month stated, 1975  Manor Books Not picking up from the incredible first volume, Bronson: Streets Of Blood has nothing to do with Bronson: Blind Rage and indeed doesn’t even feature the same protagonist, even though this one also happens to be named Richard Bronson. But then, I knew that going in, as “Philip Rawls” this time is in reality Len