Anthony Nicholas Twin returns in RITUAL OF BLOOD, the sixth in Charter's bizarre TNT series of paperback adventures and the fifth I have read (THE DEVIL'S CLAW is what I need to complete my collection). If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that the TNT novels are the strangest I've ever read—bizarre fantasies that usually involve the hero negotiating his way through a kinky maze-like deathtrap using his superpowers. In TNT, journalist Twin was caught in a nuclear explosion that intensified his senses of touch, smell, sight and, uh, sex. Yep, he can sustain an erection for hours, hell, days even, which is the power that normally gets the most use in these novels.
Nothing in the earlier TNT novels can be taken seriously, which is why it's odd that RITUAL OF BLOOD is the most conventional I've read so far. Not conventional for regular adventure novels, but certainly so for a TNT. The six richest men in the world have disappeared and their bank accounts have been drained. All six recently married a beautiful woman, who has also since vanished. Yep, a black widow and her 7-foot bearded lesbian lover have masterminded a deadly plot to marry, kill, inherit, you know the drill.
Another billionaire enlists the aid of fussy Arnold Benedict to set a trap for the black widow, and of course Benedict's first thought is to recruit Twin to pose as a potential victim. Meanwhile, TNT is already on the case, as one of the victims was a good friend whose children were murdered in front of him.
I don't want to make RITUAL OF BLOOD sound too normal, as it does feature a bizarre maze hidden inside a Broadway museum in which Twin must navigate hallways slowly filling with fast-drying plaster, a sex scene on a bed of one-way glass dangling from a helicopter over the New York skyline, a climactic battle in and around a castle located in the Arizona desert, and TNT's battle with a family of inbred spider-men. So, yes, the aforementioned word "conventional" is relative, though it also accounts for RITUAL OF BLOOD being the least interesting TNT novel to date. It just isn't crazy enough.
As for whom author Doug Master is, no telling. I noticed in the indicia a line that reads "Translated by Victoria Reiter," so perhaps the TNT books were originally printed in a foreign language.