Monday, June 4, 2018

The Butcher #12 - Killer's Cargo

I have to wonder whether this title belonged to another book, since there isn’t really any killer’s cargo anywhere to be found. The villain here is a shadowy figure known only as “Number One,” who’s kidnapped a scientist who recently discovered a lethal poison gas, and now threatens to turn the entire American population into violent lunatics. The early chapters deal with the Butcher’s investigations in France, tracking down clues, and none of this material interested me very much. A shift in locale to Mexico didn’t help, but then things really caught fire in the last fifty pages, redeeming the novel with a lengthy climactic sequence of betrayal, torture, surprise twists and lots of action. While the Butcher is more of a secret agent than the Executioner-style vigilante I was expecting, he has the same mindset. He definitely belongs to the Brut, Brylcreem and black turtleneck fraternity of 1970s action-adventure heroes, and I liked him more and more as the book went on.