In 1967, Publishers Export Co., Inc., a small San Diego paperback press that specialized in mostly-gay porno novels, tried to broaden its horizons by launching a series of spy novels marketed as “Dan Walker Chillers,” presumably to sell some books to the ‘Nick Carter: Killmaster’ audience. The books were written by someone named Don Gilmore using the pseudonym of Gil Davis, and today they are hard-to-find paperback rarities priced exorbitantly high by used book dealers.
Dan Walker is a businessman and former Naval Intelligence Officer who takes periodic assignments from the CIA where he saves the world and gets laid. In “Missile Island,” Walker is called upon by the U.S. President to investigate reports that Santana Island in the Caribbean is being developed as a commie missile launch site. Bear in mind that this book was written and published when the Cuban missile crisis was still fresh on everyone’s minds.
The Agency provides Walker with a map of the island and a briefcase bomb to destroy as much of the missile facility as possible. His cover is that of a tourist at one of the island’s luxury resorts populated by sunbathing bikini beauties. His search for the missile site brings him into contact with surveillance operatives on bicycles and Voodoo-loving locals. While in the Caribbean, Walker gets laid a lot in graphic detail. But in all fairness, the sex scenes aren’t any more explicit or plentiful than your average ‘Coxeman’ or ‘Baroness’ novel, and it’s important for spies to find a healthy work-sex balance. There are also some scenes of brutal violence - extreme stuff - that serve as a counterbalance to the regular sex scenes.
What we have here is a competent and enjoyable spy thriller with a likable hero on a fun, high-stakes Caribbean adventure filled with regional stereotypes and genre tropes. At times, it got a little “madcap” for my tastes, but your mileage may vary. In other words, this ain’t Robert Ludlum. It’s really the espionage equivalent of a Longarm Western paperback where an enjoyable story takes a break every now and then for the hero’s sexual release and then resumes thereafter as if nothing happened. If you find this book in the wild at a reasonable price, you should buy it and read it. However, it’s probably not worth the $35 tag I recently saw online. I had fun reading “Missile Island,” and as long as you know what you’re getting, you will too. Recommended.
The three Dan Walker Chillers by Gil Davis are:
Valley of the Doles (1967)
Assignment: Tokyo (1967)
Missile Island (1967)
The publisher behind the Dan Walker books also attempted two similar series titles.
The Mark Castle series by Carl Marcus:
Cable Address: Roma (1966)
Cable: Vienna (1967)
The Nails Fenian series by Hal D. Steward
The Spy and the Pirate Queen (1967)
Assassin’s Hide-Away (1967)
Finally, special thanks to the Spy Guys and Gals website for assisting me with the research on this odd corner of the espionage fiction world.
Buy a copy of this book HERE
Hmmm... You're quite sure this isn't an April Fool's Thing?ReplyDelete
I believe Don Gilmore is Donald Gilmore, who also worked for Greenleaf Publishing as an acquiring editor. He employed several Tijuana-borne U.S. citizens to write smut for the publisher. He disappeared in 1972.ReplyDelete