RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 02 May 2001

Yep, still readin' away:

The Executioner #1: War Against the Mafia -- Don Pendleton

First one I've tried. I'm sure most people know the basic set-up -- Mack Bolan comes back from Vietnam to find his family destroyed by the Mob, decides to go to war against them in response. Pure comic book stuff. Points added for setting the whole first novel in Pittsfield, Mass., of all places -- I've been there and it didn't exactly strike me as a hotbed of sin at the time, but hey, who knows? :) Points added, too, for no less than three sex scenes -- Mack, you devil! Points subtracted for some boring speeches where various characters debate the morality/philosophy of it all -- whatever else Pendleton was, he wasn't a thinker. Not particularly recommended, though I'll try a couple more volumes before pronouncing on the series as a whole.

The Destroyer #21: Deadly Seeds -- Murphy&Sapir

First one I've tried of this series, too. The plot has something to do with a crazy billionare's plot to destroy the world, but the real interest of the book is in the byplay between our two heroes. Quick example:

"I don't understand it, Little Father."
"It belongs then in a vast catagory of human knowledge," said Chiun. "Which of the many things you do not understand are you talking about?"

I thought that was pretty funny. Definitely recommended.

Protocol for a Kidnapping -- Oliver Bleeck/Ross Thomas

Thomas is one of my favorite writers in the genre, I've loved almost everything he did. This is one of the St. Ives series, and it's a pretty good installment -- our protagonist is in Tito-era Yugoslavia, working out a kidnapping exchange. As usual there are triple crosses galore, and as usual you feel like you've learned just a bit more about how the world works at the end of it. Highly recommended.
(Wasn't there a Bronson movie called St. Ives? Was it based on this character?)

Assignment Madeleine -- Edward S. Aarons

Reading this now. I really like this series -- every installment I've read has been a pretty solid adventure. Check him out if you haven't yet.



===== Doug Bassett dj_bassett@yahoo.com

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