British author Peter Leslie (1922-2007) was a talented writer who penned a number of various literary works in his lifespan. Writing five novels in the popular television tie-in series 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.', Leslie also penned a three book trilogy, 'Father Hayes', about a Catholic priest battling demonic forces. Along with a trilogy of Chicago gangster novels, 'Bruno Farrell' (as Ed Mazzaro), action fans might remember Leslie best as a heavy contributor to the 'Mack Bolan' series. Beginning with “Ice Cold Kill” (1984), Leslie went on to write seven 'The Executioner' titles as well as five giant size 'Mack Bolan' entries.
“Ice Cold Kill” offers an interesting assignment for Bolan. The Grand Duchess Rytova, an exile from Czarist Russia, asks Bolan to penetrate the Soviet Union and rescue an esteemed scientist. The scientist, Korsun, has created a complex computer that makes deductions that mirror the human brain. In effect, it can make inspired guesses bases on a infinite number of unrelated data. In reality, none of this really matters. We want to see Bolan kill bad guys.
The interesting aspect to the assignment is that Korsun's identity hasn't been fully established. All Rytova and Bolan know is that Korsun wants to defect from the Soviet Union to China, expecting to serve the cause of communism better. Bolan must escort her out of the country but also persuade her to defect to the west. Bolan's persuasion isn't typically in verbal debate. This mission adds a deeper depth to the typical run 'n gun.
Leslie provides a ton of fireworks through this 180-page advenute. From breaking into the Soviet Union, meeting Korsun (which turns out to be a surprise for the reader) and escaping, there is plenty of action sequences to please genre fans. Aside from the normal episodic delivery, “Ice Cold Kill” is much better than average and a firm entry in this long-running endeavor.
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