Looking at the 1960s hierarchy of successful paperback publishers, Connecticut's Monarch Books is in the lower echelon. Despite my best shopping practices, I've yet to acquire a really good Monarch published novel. With a fantastic cover painting by American prolific artist Harry Schaare, the 1961 paperback “Tropic Fury” looks to change that. It was written by Jeff Sutton (1913-1979) under the pseudonym Christopher Gale. Wildside Press has reprinted the novel in e-book format for $2.51.
Set in 1941, the paperback introduces us to Commander Joe Stark, an operative for the Office of U.S. Naval Intelligence. His superiors have asked that he depart to the Pacific peninsula of Malaya. Fearing that the Japanese will invade and capture the region, Stark's mission is to oversee the destruction of the Malay's oil fields, an asset that the Allies can't gift to the enemy. Once Stark arrives at the mission's destination, the potential of this WW2 high-beam act quickly dissolves.
Stark's arrival on Mala partners him with a trio of potential bedmates:
- Selinda – the bold, sexually aggressive wife of oil superintendent Mike Hawker
- Yoshi – a beautiful, doll-like nurse who plays hard to get
- Suzanne – sultry daughter of the local doctor that may be a celestial nymph
Obviously, the title “Tropic Fury” quickly changes it's meaning from what would be perceived as a rousing war novel. Stark asks some questions, interviews the oil field laborers and learns that he has a fifty-million dollar decision on his hands – when to actually press the detonator. With the Japanese on the outskirts, the bulk of the book is just Stark's decision making, which also includes which babe to bed down before destruction ensues. Yawn.
“Tropic Fury” is simply terrible. Make the right decision now and refuse to be mesmerized by the book's flashy cover. You deserve better than this.
Buy a copy of this book HERE