Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dennison's War #04 - King of the Mountain

'Dennison's War' was a mid-80s men's action-adventure series published by Bantam. The books were written under house name Adam Lassiter by Steven M. Krauzer, a journeyman author who contributed four novels to the 'Executioner' series as well as penning the nine-volume western series 'Cord' (with William Kittredge). My jumping on point is the fourth entry, “King of the Mountain”, for no real reason other than the book's catchy cover art.

The idea behind the series is fairly straight-forward. Dennison is a US ex-military operative and Vietnam veteran. During the war he worked under Peter Chamberlain (probably CIA) and had a team of six to ten hardened warriors. Now Dennison's retirement consists of freelance opportunities to support Chamberlain on various assignments where an unofficial military presence is needed.

During the harrowing curtain jerker, armed commandos ascend a windswept, snowy mountainside in Glacier Park, Montana. The team quickly kills the US Secret Service squad before entering a posh ski-lodge to capture the US Vice-President. Then a call goes out to Washington D.C. that the team wants a chopper loaded with gold, a Russian prisoner and Dennison brought to the lodge in exchange for the Vice-President. That call then gets routed through command channels until it reaches Chamberlain. The reader must suspend his disbelief that anyone would bother to kidnap a Vice President. You might as well kidnap the White House pastry chef if you really want to make an impact in Washington. 

Chamberlain wants Dennison and his team to take out the bad guys and rescue the VP. But things get a little more convoluted when a backroom deal buys another team that ultimately wants to sacrifice Dennison's crew to the enemy while making the greedy grab and go during the crossfire. This plot-twist was used five years later in the fourth 'Eagle Force' novel “Red Firestorm”, which coincidentally was also published by Bantam and also used a snowy mountain setting for the action. It also used the same cover model for both books – Jason Savas. Go impress your friends.

“King of the Mountain” has a great beginning. The middle of the book is a long flashback scene involving Dennison and Chamberlain's operations in Vietnam and the double-cross by US operative Mitchell Horn, who is the villain of the book. Most of Krauzer's writing is of the espionage/spy variety which is surprising if you are looking for a simple 'Phoenix Force'/Able Team' sort of novel. At the standard 190-pages, the book seems a bit more dense than the average shoot'em up. It's not an easy read, but a worthwhile one if you really concentrate on the action. I'd be interested in reading more of the series.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

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