Decoy #2: Moon Over Miami, by Jim Deane May, 1975 Signet Books The second and final volume of the misnamed Decoy series is just as boring and tepid as the first. Once again our breast-obsessed narrator, Nick “The Great Pretender” Merlotti, blathers on and on as he relates his latest (and thankfully last) case, which for some reason has him trying to clear the name of a young Hispanic kid
Ninja Master #4: Million-Dollar Massacre, by Wade Barker May, 1982 Warner Books Ric Meyers returns to the Ninja Master series with an installment that isn’t as great as his first one, but it’s still pretty good – at least, once our author has remembered that he’s writing a bloody piece of ninjasploitation pulp. Before that Million-Dollar Massacre loses its footing in a sort of padded-out
Sam Durell #39: Assignment Quayle Question, by Edward S. Aarons May, 1975 Fawcett Gold Medal With a cover that could come off a ‘70s sweat mag, the 39th volume of the Sam Durell series picks up “shortly” after the events of the previous volume, though be assured that reading Assignment Sumatra isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying The Quayle Question. Plus, this one features a Fu Manchu-style
Depth Force #4: Battle Stations, by Irving A. Greenfield July, 1985 Zebra Books Once again coming off like the men’s adventure equivalent of a soap opera, the Depth Force series continues with this fourth novel that picks up immediately after the events of the previous volume, with not one word of helpful background material to catch up the reader. Battle Stations follows the same
The Katmandu Contract, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1975 Award Books By this point in the Nick Carter: Killmaster saga, series creator/producer Lyle Kenyon Engel was gone, and the books were solely in the hands of publisher Award Books. Rather than a small stable of authors who turned out a guided series, Nick Carter: Killmaster was now farmed out to an ever-changing lineup of freelance
Killinger #2: The Rainbow/Seagreen Case, by P.K. Palmer January, 1974 Pinnacle Books The second and final installment of the Killinger series is an exercise in tedium, author P.K. Palmer doling out a slow-moving tale that’s rife with repetition. It seems clear though that Palmer, who passed away before publication, intended Killinger to be a sort of Travis McGhee for the Pinnacle line;
Midnight Lightning, by Kevin Sherrill August, 1989 Pinnacle/Zebra Books About as obscure as a paperback original can be, Midnight Lightning is one of those late ‘80s publications that bears the Pinnacle imprint but in reality is a Zebra publication. It’s also the first of a three-volume men’s adventure series,* even though there was no series title or volume numbers. (The spine however
The Executioners, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1970 Award Books Not as entertaining, crazy, or sick as his earlier installment, The Sea Trap, The Executioners is only a middling entry in the Nick Carter: Killmaster series, courtesy Jon Messmann. Also worth noting is that, unlike that earlier volume, this one is in first-person, which already results in a demerit so far as I’m concerned.
The Black Eagles #14: Firestorm At Dong Nam, by John Lansing February, 1988 Zebra Books After reading the first volume, which was courtesy Mark Roberts (and the only volume of the series he wrote), I didn’t really consider another installment of the Black Eagles series. But when I came across a pristine-condition copy of this 14th volume for half off the cover price, I couldn’t pass it up.
The Red Rays, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1969 Award Books Given that The Golden Serpent was a great entry in the Nick Carter: Killmaster series, I thought The Red Rays would be as well, since it was also written by Manning Lee Stokes. But man this turned out to be a rum entry in the saga of Nick Carter, only notable for being the first volume to be written in first-person. But if