Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Sea Of Blood

The Sharpshooter returns in BLOOD BATH, which is a book so badass that it needed an incredibly badass cover to hold it together. Seriously, will you look at that cover? That fact that it never happens in the book is no reason to not love it.

#3 in Leisure's Sharpshooter series is even better than HEAD CRUSHER, which is #7, but I read it first (it was the only Sharpshooter I had at the time). Even stretched out to 200 pages, BLOOD BATH is relentless in its violence and sleaze. The Sharpshooter is Johnny Rock, who was John Rocetti in HEAD CRUSHER, but is strangely John Roccoletti here. Former Green Beret in Vietnam, Rock swore to destroy the Mafia when he returned home to discover his family had been murdered by them. Johnny Rock doesn't give a shit about anything in the world, except killing Mafia bastards. And he does it a lot.

In BLOOD BATH, he strikes fear into New Jersey mobsters by systematically kidnapping people peripherally involved with them and then torturing or frightening information out of them. One of his victims is an innocent lover of a low-level mobster, a woman with no direct connection to the Mob, but Rock still snatches her, strips her, ties her up, feeds her, and periodically tosses a severed arm or leg from one of his murder victims into a nearby rat cage to gain a psychological edge.

Another kidnap victim is the hot wife of a particularly sadistic hitman, Alfredo Sordi. Rock demands that Sordi turn himself into the FBI, or his wife is dead, leading to a creepy scene where Rock handcuffs her to another mobster and then cuts him apart with an Uzi until she's lying there with the dude's bloody arm hanging from her wrist.

The Sharpshooter books were written, reportedly, by several different authors under the guise of "Bruno Rossi." Paul Hofrichter may have penned this one. Whoever it was must have also been writing Belmont Tower's Marksman books, because the name "Magellan" occasionally appears in lieu of "Rock". Way to go, editors.

1 comment:

frankie said...

i know Peter McCurtin wrote some of these, though i'm not positive which entries. safe to say anytime they mistakenly call Rock Magellan or mention that his wife & kid were killed, instead of mother/father/bro/sis, it was probably written by McCurtin, or reworked from a Marksman story.

Blood Bath was the first one i read, and while i know it was a ripoff of The Executioner, The Sharpshooter is my favorite mens series. i just need Mafia Death Watch to complete the collection

-frankie