Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spy Trap

Popular Library's second MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE tie-in novel is distinctively inferior to the first. Likely, it's due to Walter Wager, under his pseudonym of John Tiger, not writing it. The credited author is Max Walker, who may or may not be a real person.

CODE NAME: JUDAS' biggest problem is that it isn't much like the television series. It contains a car chase, shootouts, fistfights--all action stables that were not generally part of the TV show's repertoire. It was an extremely action-packed series, but not an especially violent one. There was violence, of course, even an occasional chase or punchout, but not as depicted by Walker.

JUDAS does open with Jim Phelps (played by cover model Peter Graves in the series) listening to a taped message and choosing his Impossible Missions Force team from dossiers. The plot takes the IMF to Geneva to find an assassin named Atlas before a group of enemy agents does. Atlas' main characterization is that he has no nose, which leads to a scene, of course, of someone pulling his face nose off.

The book also spends too much time with Phelps, forgetting that the best M:I episodes showed the team working together. Outside of Phelps and Cinnamon Carter's guise as a nightclub singer, Rollin Hand, Barney Collier, and Willy Armitage have painfully little to do.

If you're a spy fan looking for a quick read (126 pages), this 1968 novel may do the trick, but I wouldn't recommend it to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE fans.

1 comment:

James Reasoner said...

This one may be by Michael Avallone, I don't remember for sure.