Friday, September 24, 2021

James Fritzhand: Nick Carter: Sign of the Cobra

As I said, I was going to post short reviews of some paperbacks I'll be reading in the coming months as I'm making a sequel to my original Pulpografia (2000, in Finnish only), a reference book on American crime and mystery writers published mainly in the pulp and paperback format. Many of the books I'll be reading are men's adventure, a genre I'm not very much interested in, but which seems quite popular nowadays. When I was writing my first book 20 years ago, it was mainly about noir and hardboiled stuff, but the wind has changed, at least according to the sites like Paperback Warrior and Facebook groups like Men's Adventure Paperbacks of the 20th Century

Okay, off to the book I was going to write about. It's a Nick Carter/Killmaster book, written by James Fritzhand. The title is Sign of the Cobra, and it's one of the three Nick Carters Fritzhand wrote in the mid-seventies. All the books take place in Asia, and in them Nick Carter is fluent in taekwondo, which, if I'm not mistaken, he's not in the earlier books. I read on the Glorious Trash blog that the continuity of the Nick Carter series was gone when the series was taken out of Lyle Kenyon Engel's hands, and the writers came up with their own versions of Nick Carter. 

That said, Sign of the Cobra isn't a bad book. It's fluent and readable, and there's just enough old time pulp bravado to keep things interesting, though this isn't as crazy as some of the sixties' installments in the series, for example the books by Manning Lee Stokes. The villain has an artificial arm that looks like a cobra, and it's equipped with poisonous needles! The action scenes are quite good, except when Fritzhand makes someone say something aloud in the middle of a taekwondo strike which makes for a very weird reading. Just how slow is Nick Carter moving? 

1 comment:

Scott said...