Monday, February 23, 2009

The Shadowmen

After busting some corrupt Seattle cops in NORTHWEST CONTRACT, the Penetrator stays Stateside to break up Midwestern terrorists in DODGE CITY BOMBERS, Pinnacle's 9th book in the series, published in 1975. A letter to the Penetrator's Native American friend David Red Eagle leads Mark Hardin to a small Kansas town, where a sinister group known as the Shadowmen is poisoning cattle, burning crops, and blowing up barns and grain bins worth millions on the futures market. Who could possibly profit from such a massive food shortage?

Inquisitive detective work reveals a consortium of farming bigwigs who are holding on to their crops, rather than selling them on the open market. These three men have hired a group of violent locals to destroy as much food across the country as possible in order to drive up the demand for their own crops. Although author Mark Roberts (as Lionel Derrick) fails to adequately address the fates of the splinter Shadowmen around the country, the Penetrator puts the big hurt on the Kansas branch, killing mercilessly and saving most of his terror for the men at the top.

Roberts continues to float the notion of the Penetrator becoming a Robin Hood-like legend. The FBI has a special task force dedicated solely to capturing the Penetrator, who is accused of dozens of murders and other acts of violence, including the destruction of the cannery ship in New Orleans. However, the public and much local law enforcement appear to be on Hardin's side. He certainly made a fan in DODGE CITY BOMBERS, a widower whose husband was murdered and young son mutilated by the Shadowmen. The Penetrator avenges those brutal acts and many others during the course of this entertaining novel with no fantastic elements but much rough-and-tumble action.

No comments: