Author Joseph R. Rosenberger wrote a number of men's action adventure novels throughout the 70s and 80s. His 70-book vigilante series 'Death Merchant' ranks in the highest echelons of popularity alongside 'Nick Carter', 'The Executioner' and 'The Butcher'. Prior to his death in 1993, the author had conceived a new vigilante series entitled 'Tenkiller', paralleling the same format he utilized with 'Death Merchant'. The debut, “Geneva Force” (1989 Pageant), stands as the only series contribution.
This “Geneva Force” refers to Mason Tenkiller, a globe-trotting fighting man who seeks to punish terrorist cell The Red Brigade. In the opening pages we read newspaper clippings advising that Tenkiller's wife and son were killed in a terrorist blast. But, do we know if Tenkiller has the ability to wage a one-man war on international terrorism?
After a furious fire-fight in an abandoned German brewery, chapter two settles in with a resume showcasing Tenkiller's validity as the “Geneva Force”. He graduated from Notre Dame with a master's degree in psychology. After refusing an appointment at West Point, Tenkiller joins the Fifth Special Forces Group Airborne and serves four years in Vietnam. Later, he's recruited by the CIA and excels as a GS-12 rating and promoted to the European Terrorist Desk at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. After his family's murder in 1984, Tenkiller begins his crusade to right the wrongs of Europe.
Rosenberger's deeper plowing was in hopes of harvesting a rogue killing machine that was courted by both the CIA and KGB. In a fertile story-line, heads of the CIA and KGB meet under the assumption that they will capture Tenkiller and force him to be a lone member of a joint taskforce used to kill targets for both agencies. It's a unique twist that aligns the two super-powers in a conventional way. This novel focuses on Tenkiller's annihilation of Red Brigade hierarchy while evading capture by the CIA and KGB men. There's even a brief reference to Rosenberger's claim to fame – the Death Merchant himself, Richard Joseph Camellion.
By 1989, Rosenberger had clearly ran out of ideas. After two decades of cashing checks for 'Death Merchant', along with entries like 'C.O.B.R.A.', 'Kung-Fu' and 'Shadow Warrior', this series spark is simply re-imagining Camellion as the newer Tenkiller. So much that the body count reaches extraordinary heights, the gun porn outweighs the writing and this character uses wigs and make-up to hide his killing agendas. These are all consistent with the 'Death Merchant' series. So, why do we need another? Ultimately, I'm not sure if Rosenberger had any more entries drafted or submitted for this ill-conceived series. Regardless, his death just five years from this book's release would erase any further volumes of Tenkiller's fate.
Read “Geneva Force” if you absolutely need 'Death Merchant' part 71.
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To nit-pick a little, the Death Merchant wasn't a vigilante but a CIA agent, although occasionally he went off on his own. This sounds standard for Rosenberger, though. Are there pages and pages of pointless debates about religion and politics? I loved the Death Merchant when I was a teenager for all the over-the-top action, but I tried to read a later one a few years ago and even after skipping chapters filled with the aforementioned pointless discssuoion about nothing to do with the plot, had to give up. Thanks for your review.ReplyDelete