Wednesday, March 23, 2022

George Snyder: Nick Carter: Jewel of Doom


I've been going through my forth-coming book (well, forth-coming maybe next year or in 2024) about American paperback crime and suspense writers published in Finnish, but I haven't found time to actually read any of the books. I managed to squeeze in a Nick Carter by George Snyder, who died in 2018 after self-publishing his new crime books during the recent years. 

The Jewel of Doom came originally out in 1970, when Lyle Kenyon Engel was producing the series for Award. The publishing house forced Engel and his writers to use first person narration, which may not be suitable for Nick Carter (though later efforts by Dennis Lynds and Robert Randisi proved it could be done*), and there's no reason for it in here. Nick Carter is not more alive in The Jewel of Doom than he is in those novels that are narrated in third person. 

The plot of the book deals with the Fabergé eggs. Now, this piqued my interest, since Peter Carl Fabergé lived in the Czarist Russia when Finland was still a part of the empire. He didn't have Finnish roots, but his mentor Peter Pendin was Finnish, and many Finnish smiths worked for the Fabergé family, producing lots of beautiful golden eggs. In Snyder's book, one of the eggs is being used in smuggling the plans for a new US military device out of the country. Nick Carter of course prevents it from happening. He also gets to spend some quality time with different babes throughout the novel.

Sad to say, the book wasn't very good. It's not badly written, from what I can gather from the Finnish translation, but the scenes go on and on. Especially the erotic scenes seem endless, and yet nothing much happens. The action scenes are handled deftly, but even they are too long. I didn't actually finish the book and started another. 

Here's Paul Bishop on Snyder, and here's also a German interview with Snyder.  

The Finnish cover from 1974 above. It has nothing to do with the book, since the lady in the photo seems to hold a copy of Mao's Little Red Book in her hand. 

* At least Lynds did Nick Carters in the first person narration, and I seem to remember Randisi did too. Correct if I'm wrong.