Aug 182014
 
Razoni & Jackson #2: Dead End Street, by W.B. Murphy May, 1973  Pinnacle Books As if he wasn’t busy enough co-writing The Destroyer, in the early ‘70s Warren Murphy also turned out this five-volume series that is now most remembered for providing the inspiration for the Lethal Weapon movies; screenwriter Shane Black even gave Murphy official acknowledgement for this, requesting that Murphy
Aug 112014
 
The Vigilante #1: New York: An Eye For An Eye, by V.J. Santiago November, 1975  Pinnacle Books How could you not want to read something that’s “More vengeful than Death Wish!?” Starting off a six-volume series copyright book packager Lyle Kenyon Engel, An Eye For An Eye serves as the origin story for Joe “Vigilante” Madden, and for the most part comes off like a less sadistic take on Bronson
Aug 042014
 
The Hook #1: The Gilded Canary, by Brad Latham September, 1981  Warner Books Part of Warner’s short-lived Men Of Action line, The Hook ran for five volumes, and was unlike the other series in the line (ie Ninja Master) in that it was a period piece about an insurance investigator. If this first volume is any indication, The Hook has more in common with the hardboiled pulp of the 1930s, only
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