Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bloody Earthquake

By book #11 of his Executioner paperbacks for Pinnacle, Don Pendleton may have been writing them too fast. In the 1972 entry, CALIFORNIA HIT, Mack Bolan is said to have seen combat in both Korea and Vietnam. He's also described by Pendleton as being 30 years old. You do the math.

Outside of the continuity mishaps, CALIFORNIA HIT is a typically solid Executioner entry, a tight mixture of hard action, mature introspection and even a tad of humor. After wiping out some Mafiosi in the Caribbean, Mack Bolan heads to San Francisco to raise some hell. While blowing apart a Mob hideout, Mack makes the acquaintance of Mary Ching, a "China Doll" in with the government, the Mob and the Chinese Communists. Working to bust the baddies from within, Mary becomes both an ally and a lover for Bolan.

Strangely, as in CARIBBEAN KILL, Bolan makes a final strike against a previously unseen Mob boss. Pendleton plays coy as to the identity of "Mr. King," as if the reader is supposed to know who he is. I have no idea.

The novel ends with Bolan receiving news that his teenage brother Johnny and Valentina, a woman who sheltered him in WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA, the first Executioner novel, are missing from their Pittsfield home. Presumably, in the next novel, Mack heads back East to investigate.

1 comment:

Johny Malone said...

Spanish editions of Executioner's books: http://unaplagadeespias.blogspot.com/search/label/PE%20MACK%20BOLAN