Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home And The Dead

CARIBBEAN KILL, published by Pinnacle in February 1972, starts right where the previous Executioner novel, VEGAS VENDETTA (#9), left off. Disguised as a mobster, Mack Bolan left a Mob-owned Las Vegas casino called the Gold Duster in ruins, figuratively if not quite literally, and split with a quarter million in dough for the Caribbean on a private plane. Well, during a refueling stop in Nassau, the Mafia figured out Bolan's game and sets a trap for him at a Mob safe house called Glass Bay in Puerto Rico.

Bolan, of course, anticipates the trap and bails out of the plane, but not before aiming it at the estate, causing a giant explosion and many deaths. The first half of CARIBBEAN KILL starts to shape up like a MOST DANGEROUS GAME thing, where Bolan races through the jungle with an army of hoods on his tail. He meets up with a beautiful undercover cop named Evita Aguilar, who helps him escape. Once Bolan reaches safety, he goes on the offensive, picking up an unlikely ally and taking on a suicide mission straight into a Mafia stronghold in Haiti, where he plans to assassinate an important boss named Sir Edward.

Like most early Don Pendleton novels, CARIBBEAN KILL is a terrific action tale with suspense and clean, sometimes witty scenes of violence. The opening setpiece with Bolan diving out of an airplane before smashing it into a mansion filled with gunsels is a perfect attention-getter. The Caribbean setting is a nice change of pace from previous Mack Bolan adventures, which had taken him to Miami, London, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Pendleton also devotes space to developing the supporting players a bit, and Evita Aguilar and a reluctant Mafia chopper pilot named Jack Grimaldi apparently returned in later Executioner books.

1 comment:

ACW said...

SPOILER ALERT

Grimaldi does indeed return as a Bolan ally.