Sunday, May 03, 2009

Open Season On Rats

When Phillip Magellan was a boy, he toured with a carnival, where he learned everything he knows about firearms. How to clean and care for them, how to shoot them. As an adult, he married, had a son, and opened a gun store in New Orleans. When he refused to sell weapons to the local Mafia, they murdered his family. Now, Magellan is on the run, seeking vengeance against mobsters wherever he goes.

In DEATH HUNT (Belmont Tower, 1973), the second Marksman novel, author Peter McCurtin brings Magellan to New York, where he witnesses a mob hit on Don Vincent Paoli and reluctantly saves the old man's life. At the Paoli home, Magellan makes the acquaintance of the old Don's daughter, Antonia, and makes love to her while an assassin finishes the job on Vincent in the other room. Now emotionally involved in the dispute, Magellan reluctantly inserts himself into the war between the Paoli family and that of Vito Spazzi, who kidnaps Antonia for information.

Told in McCurtin's typically blunt style in just 146 pages, DEATH HUNT racks up a hefty body count, if not much story. The climax is kinda clever, as Magellan discovers a way of using the Coney Island attractions to plan his assault on Spazzi's estate, but wraps up the story much too quickly without a much-needed face-to-face standoff. You can read this thing in just a couple of hours, so take it to the DMV.

1 comment:

Elliott said...

God, this is the coolest site I've ever seen!! Seriously. I sell a lot of books like these. So much fun.