Thursday, November 25, 2021

Axel Kilgore (Jerry Ahern): Death Lust

Jerry Ahern was known mainly for his post-apocalyptic series like The Survivalist and The Takers. I haven't read any of those, but I read one of the books in his other series, about the one-eyed mercenary Hank Frost, written as by Axel Kilgore. I'd read one before, called The Terror Contract (1982). It wasn't bad, straight-up action that has no pretenses of literary merit. Even the gun porn that you hear Ahern having been guilty of is minimal. 

The other Hank Frost I recently read, called Death Lust (also 1982; Cosa Nostra! in Finnish), wasn't as good, though it had its moments. There's even a hint of great adventure in the air, when Hank Frost is posing as a gun dealer somewhere in the Mediterranean, and when the ship he's travelling in gets attacked, he saves a young woman and when it's revealed she's the daughter of a Mafia don, he wins the father's ever-lasting gratitude. The Mafia helps Hank Frost attacking the gun dealers led by Frost's long-time enemy, Eva Chapmann, whose father he's killed in the past. There are lots of attacks and battles in the book, and I got actually kind of lost amongst them, but all in all this was a pretty entertaining men's adventure paperback. The end in which Eva Chapmann is dressed as a nun, was a bit weird, though. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Elliott Lewis: Two Heads Are Better

This is no men's adventure paperback, instead it's a private eye novel that came out in paperback in 1980. The publisher was Pinnacle that was famous for its men's adventure books in the seventies and early eighties, but seems like they were ready to publish books from different genres. 

Elliott Lewis was a radio actor who sometimes appeared on TV and film. When he retired from acting, he wrote seven private eye books for Pinnacle from 1980 to 1983. The first one is weirdly named Two Heads Are Better. The antihero of the book is one Fred Bennett, an ex-cop leading a lousy life and working as a private eye. The book starts off with a headless corpse being found on the trunk of his car, and Bennett has to flee and solve the case at the same time. 

I really didn't like this book. It seems hasty and the plot is too convoluted. Bennett is not very likable character, though I usually like unsympathetic private eyes. This is not the case here. Bill Crider said it better here