Thursday, December 20, 2007

Vengeance In Cuba

I guess when your name is Mark Blood, you pretty much have to spend your life killing people. I doubt there are many florists or bank presidents named Blood.

This Blood was a Marine captain and war hero in Vietnam who learns overseas that his young wife, Cindy, was killed by hijackers who intercepted her commercial flight to Miami and aimed it at Cuba. We know something is fishy right away, as Cindy's throat is slashed by a hijacker during the prologue, but the brass tells Blood she was killed by a stray bullet.

After serving his country, he returns home to an empty house, depression, and two CIA agents who attempt to recruit him into the agency to find a Cuban revolutionary named El Matador who plans to overthrow Castro. Blood says no thanks, but when he's jumped by a couple of gunmen who hint that El Matador was involved in Cindy's death, he surreptitiously enters Cuba to investigate on his own and ultimately learns of a master plan to create a powerful nerve gas named X80 to be sold to America's enemies.

Not a bad novel, but nothing great either. It's paced decently enough, and is one of the few men's adventure novels I've come across that's written in first person. Allan Morgan wrote the 1974 novel for Award Books. There were at least two other Blood adventures, presumably placing the hero within the CIA as an assassin.

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