Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Battle For Blood

Did you know about a blood type so rare that only eleven people in the world have it? It's called Bombay Blood, and ten of those people are slaughtered and drained of it in the first chapter of KINGDOM OF DEATH, which was, to the best of my knowledge, the seventh and last of Charter's TNT series of adventure paperbacks. #3, THE DEVIL'S CLAW, is the only novel that has eluded me so far, but I'm eager to catch up with it.

As I've said before, the TNT books, written by an unknown author calling himself "Doug Masters" and released during the early/mid-1980s, are just about the strangest books I've ever read. No concept is too far out or too tasteless for Masters, who began the series with a scene in which his hero is forced to have sex with several dozen mentally retarded teen and preteen girls. By those standards, KINGDOM OF DEATH, like the previous entry, plays like an episode of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Anthony (Tony) Nicholas Twin, the star of the TNT books, is the dullest and least vivid, whereas Arnold Benedict, the effete millionaire who sends the reluctant Twin on his missions, has progressed (regressed?) from a sadistic pedophile to an eccentric, germophobic snob.

Benedict, acting upon a request from prominent politician Adlai Mayflower, recruits Twin to find the masked terrorist code-named Cancer who is stockpiling all the world's Bombay Blood and threatening to destroy a bottle of it every four hours until his demands are met. The only surviving person with that blood type is Mayflower's hemophilic young great-grandson.

Twin, who was given enhanced strength, stamina, sight and hearing powers after he was caught in a nuclear explosion in TNT, is teamed with a supporting cast this time around, including the Titan, the bizarre 300-pound Russian strongman with pink bows in his beard who dresses in drag and rides elephants in this adventure.

Despite being slightly more mainstream than the earlier TNT novels, this is just about the only story I can imagine that could feature Twin battling a zombie Josef Stalin (really!) and it not be the weirdest thing that happens in it.


Rayo Casablanca said...

Great site, loving it.
Have to track down these TNT books.

Anonymous said...

I took a break from TNT, but a zombie Joseph Stalin is too awesome to put on hold for much longer.

Rayo Casablanca said...

From a French wiki:
"Pseudonyme de Pierre Rey et Loup Durand pour l'écriture de la série des aventures de TNT, publiées entre 1978 et 1980 chez Robert Laffont."

Sounds like two authors collaborating as Michael Borgia in Europe, Masters in the States.