Jul 282014
The Revenger #2: Fire In The Streets, by Jon Messmann June, 1974  Signet Books A year after the events of The Revenger, mule-headed hero Ben Martin now lives as “Ben Markham” in Chicago, denying himself memories of his former life and just trying to earn a living as a manager at a meat-processing factory. Soon enough though he’s once again going up against the Mafia, in a novel that almost
Jul 212014
The Penetrator #21: The Supergun Mission, by Lionel Derrick July, 1977  Pinnacle Books Mark Penetrator Hardin once again heads down into Mexico, courtesy author Mark Roberts. Researching the “wetback situation” (as it’s constantly referred to throughout the book, as well as on the back cover), the Penetrator gradually becomes involved in a plot that involves an island kingdom outside of
Jul 172014
Stark #3: The Chinese Coffin, by Joseph Hedges February, 1975  Pyramid Books (Original UK publication 1973) The success of Don Pendleton's The Executioner was so widespread that Imitation Executioners began to pop up even overseas, this being one such example. Starting life in the UK as “The Revenger,” this series ran for thirteen volumes and documented British mob-buster John Stark’s war
Jul 142014
The Big Brain #1: The Aardvark Affair, by Gary Brandner February, 1975  Zebra Books A few years before he hit it big with The Howling, Gary Brandner turned out this three-volume series for Zebra Books. As Marty McKee notes, this first volume is basically a mystery, and a sort of watered-down one at that. There is nothing particularly exciting or memorable about The Aardvark Affair --
Jul 102014
The Executioner #7: Nightmare In New York, by Don Pendleton July, 1971  Pinnacle Books After a few volumes that were entertaining but seemed to be missing something, the Executioner series returns with a bang with this seventh volume, easily my favorite yet of Don Pendleton's original run. Here Pendleton is settling into the forumla that will take him through the next 30-odd books, and what
Jul 032014
Jason Striker #6: Curse Of The Ninja, by Piers Anthony and Roberto Fuentes December, 2001  Xlibris Books The Jason Striker series came to an ignoble end in April, 1976, and for the next few decades our judo-loving, book-narrating hero was cast into limbo. Then in 2001 Piers Anthony and Roberto Fuentes self-published the series as three trade paperbacks; in the third volume they included the
Jun 302014
Stone: MIA Hunter, by Jack Buchanan February, 1987  Jove Books Some online booksellers mistakenly list this installment of the MIA Hunter series as the first volume, but in fact it falls between the sixth and seventh volumes. Also, this is a double-length tale, coming in at 261 pages, all courtesy our old friend Chet Cunningham, who here turns in his second and final contribution to the
Jun 262014
The Satan Trap, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1979  Charter Books This installment of the Nick Carter: Killmaster series promises quite a lot – I mean the back cover blurb makes it sound like a bast of pure Satanic sleaze, which is my favorite kind of sleaze. And while The Satan Trap does occasionally veer in this direction, it is for the most part a bland sort of spy caper that goes in
Jun 162014
Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy the John Eagle Expeditor series? It’s probably my favorite series of all, just a perfect mix of escapist entertainment, adventure fiction, and the lurid elements ‘70s pulp demanded. The series was written by three authors: Manning Lee Stokes, Robert Lory, and Paul Eiden. Stokes passed away in 1976, and Paul Eiden is practically a cipher; the only
Jun 122014
Richard Blade #3: Jewel Of Tharn, by Jeffrey Lord August, 1973  Pinnacle Books (Original publication 1969) I’ve read one volume of the Richard Blade series a year, which seems about right; I figure you could easily achieve burnout if you read these books back-to-back, given their overly repetitive nature. But if you take a break, the formula seems a little more fresh, and sometimes, as in