Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Executioner In Paris

CONTINENTAL CONTRACT is notable for taking Mack Bolan international for the first time. It's entirely accidental, however. Pinned down by an army of Mafia hoods at Dulles Airport, the Executioner's only escape is to grab the first airliner out, which happens to be to Paris.

Through a wild coincidence, Bolan happens to be seated next to an almost exact double! He's Gil Martin, a movie star. Mack uses his resemblance to Martin to slip through a waiting Mafia gauntlet in Paris, but has to come to the actor's rescue when Gil is kidnapped and tortured by those same hoods.

While in Paris, Bolan decides to take out a few baddies, which lures New York gangster Tony Lavagni to Paris to collect the $100,000 bounty on the Executioner. Hoping for some inside intel, Lavagni brings along Harlem numbers runner Wilson Brown, who served alongside Bolan in Vietnam and has a working knowledge of Mack's killing methods.

Not only does Bolan get Gil Martin messed up, but his interference into a whorehouse causes the Mob to kidnap its girls with plans to sell them into slavery in Africa. The Executioner's plan: to kill one mobster every hour until the women are safely returned.

It seems like this 1971 Pinnacle novel has a lot going on, and I guess it does. It's still not one of Don Pendleton's best efforts. I noted that Bolan bumbles a few times, which is uncharacteristic of him, as is his mistake in letting Lavagni live at one point just so the killer can come at him again near the end.

Pendleton also creates a French starlet for Bolan to woo, Cici, who is annoying because zee Peendletone writes 'er dialogue een reedeeculous French accent, how 'u say?

CONTINENTAL CONTRACT is still entertaining, just not one of Pendleton's best. Mack Bolan, as we know, made his way to London before returning to New York.

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