Monday, March 22, 2010

A Murderer In A Million

Wrapping up my Chopper Cop reviews with the third and final book of the series. It also has the best title. Well, maybe the best title of all time: DYNAMITE MONSTER BOOGIE CONCERT.

It's actually an accurate title, as the book is set at a massive outdoor rock concert called Monster Boogie. Not only is it sure to be a dynamite show, but there's a strong indication some crazy bastard may actually try to dynamite it.

Our star is anti-establishment cop Terry Bunker, who, contrary to how he appears on Popular Library's covers, is a young, long-haired hippie and 'Nam vet who takes special cases for the California governor on his tricked-out motorcycle that boasts a shotgun strapped to its handlebars. Bunker is assigned to investigate threats against the upcoming Monster Boogie show from a crank who says he or she plans to blow the venue up.

Among the victims/suspects are a thinly veiled Grand Funk, an obvious Janis Joplin clone, and a Rolling Stones ripoff led by charismatic lead singer Paul Byrd. Writer Paul Ross (surely a house name created by Chopper Cop packager Lyle Kenyon Engle) throws in several action scenes and a little bit of sex; even Bunker gets into the act, spending the night before the concert inside a tent with a pair of curvy jailbait.

The book's best setpiece takes place after an unknown sniper busts into Bunker's place while he's making it with the Janis clone and tries to shoot him. The shooter escapes in a station wagon with a big head start, while Bunker leaps barefoot onto his chopper in pursuit. Ross' depiction of the hair-raising chase is one of the best car (or cycle) chases I've ever read, and I was cringing every time Bunker's bare foot slid across the asphalt.

This 1975 novel is a lively read. I don't know why Popular Library discontinued the series. They aren't groundbreaking books nor do they push any boundaries, but they're entertaining and refreshingly left-wing in their approach.

1 comment:

Bruce said...