Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Blood Justice

I'm frequently amazed at how sloppy the editors of Belmont Tower's Marksman paperbacks were. In some of them, author Frank Scarpetta (most likely either Peter McCurtin or Aaron Fletcher) actually calls leading man Phillip Magellan by the wrong name. In book #5, HEADHUNTER, published in 1973, the story appears to pick up right at the conclusion of #4. Since Scarpetta makes little attempt to catch the reader up with the events of that story, you can be forgiven for spending the first few chapters of HEADHUNTER wondering what the hell is going on.

Magellan, having wiped out a bunch of Mafioso in St. Thomas, arrives in Puerto Rico with several suitcases full of drugs and weapons. I think he's planning to stay just temporarily on his way back to the United States, but he's mugged by some crooks on the lookout for naive tourists, then his romantic relationship with Terri White, who seems to have been introduced in the previous book, hits a snag when she is raped.

By this point, the Marksman figures, "What the hell, I'm here anyway, I might as well kill all the Mafia here too." The rest of HEADHUNTER's 159 pages is Magellan kidnapping, torturing, and killing bad guys in Scarpetta's blunt-nosed style that involves the heavy use of exclamation points outside of dialogue. I think I read HEADHUNTER in about two hours, which is meant to be a compliment, I think.

1 comment:

Joe Kenney said...

Belmont Tower screwed up more on the Magellan/Rock deal. I've determined that Headhunter, even though it's #5 in the Marksman series, actually takes place after #3: Kill Them All. Meanwhile, #4: Mafia Wipe-Out, features Magellan back in the States. So unless he found a teleporter on St. Tomas and used it between the three volumes, it seems pretty obvious BT screwed up the order of publication.