Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shootout In The Pacific

THE MEXICO KILL, the fourth in Warner Books' Dirty Harry series, based, of course, on the character played by Clint Eastwood in several hit movies, may have been written by the same ghost writer who penned DEATH ON THE DOCKS, since it also doesn't have a complete grasp of the main character.

San Francisco police inspector Harry Callahan is suspended after a shootout inside a disco that leaves one bad guy dead, but a few innocent bystanders badly injured. With nothing else to do, he takes a job for a millionaire acquaintance named Harold Keepnews, whose yacht was recently waylaid by drug-smuggling pirates on the way back from Mexico. Harry agrees to join the crew of Keepnews' new yacht and take it to Carangas, where he discovers the drug trade is being run by his old San Francisco foe, an ex-con named Father Nick.

THE MEXICO KILL has its share of mildly diverting shootouts and action scenes, but Dirty Harry comes across as glibber and more profane than he generally does in the movies. It's hard to imagine the Eastwood character hunting down sea pirates for the fun of it or allowing himself to be seduced by Keepnews' sexy young wife (although she does make it difficult to say no).

Six of the Dirty Harry novels were written by Ric Meyers, also under the Dane Hartman pseudonym (Dane Hartman=Dirty Harry, get it?), but this is not one of them.

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