Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Episode 25. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Episode 25. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, January 6, 2020

Paperback Warrior Podcast - Episode 25

On Paperback Warrior Podcast Episode 25, the guys take a deep dive into the world of Nick Carter: Killmaster. Tom introduces listeners to James Howard’s obscure Steve Ashe series, and Eric reviews the nautical heist classic, “Hell Ship to Kuma.” Check it out on your favorite podcast app or listen online at Stream the show below or on any podcast service. You can also download the episode directly HERE. Listen to "Episode 25: Nick Carter: Killmaster" on Spreaker.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Doc Savage #183 - Escape from Loki

The idea of retroactive continuity, commonly referred to as retcon or retconning, is a popular method for new writers to add additional elements or facts to a previously published work. It's been utilized by comic writers for decades and can often be found in early pulp magazines as a way to modernize the heroes for a new generation. The most recent retcon novel I've read and reviewed was Stephen Mertz's fantastic take on Mack Bolan's pre-Executioner life in Super Bolan #04: Dirty War. On Paperback Warrior Podcast Episode 25, I talked about Nick Carter retroactive continuity (erasing, ignoring or contradicting prior events) from early pulp detective to international paperback spy. So it's no surprise to find that author Philip Jose Farmer utilized this same technique for his 1991 retcon Doc Savage novel Escape from Loki (Bantam).

Philip Jose Farmer (1918-2009) was a highly respected science-fiction and fantasy author noted for his series Riverworld and World of Tiers. Farmer had a fondness for reworking existing fictional heroes into new novels and stories. From Moby-Dick and Wizard of Oz to Around the World in Eighty Days, Farmer would often fill in missing time periods or create sequels to literary works that were created by other authors. Farmer created two mock biographies of famed literary characters, Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. As a fan of the Doc Savage novels since 1933, Farmer chose to author one original series novel, Escape from Loki, which showcases the character at the age of 16 during WW1. By retconning what original author Lester Dent presented in The Man of Bronze (1933), Farmer is able to present an origin story explaining how Doc Savage originally met his beloved team members.

Escape from Loki races out of the gate as the young Doc Savage pilots one of his first aviation missions. It's explained to readers that Savage was hoping to pilot for the U.S. Air Service, but due to their planes needing machine gun installations, Savage's Colonel assigned him to a French aerial combat unit. Farmer uses this as an exciting sequence of events where Savage is shot down during dogfights over Germany. Making his way through the forest, Savage finds shelter in an abandoned farmhouse with two American soldiers. When the two immediately begin squabbling with one other, it's apparent that these men are Ham and Monk. While Savage's introduction to both of them is brief, it's a rewarding experience for Doc Savage fans to pinpoint where he met two of his most trusted allies.

After he's captured by German soldiers, Savage is subjected to a strange dinner party hosted by Von Hessel and Countess Idivzhopu. After escaping Hessel's fortified home, Savage manages to steal a German aircraft but once again finds himself captured by Germans and placed on a train of POWs. After escaping a third time, Farmer's novel reaches a heightened frenzy as Savage is forced to fight a pack of wild dogs inside a bombed out farmhouse. In what could be considered a series abomination to some fans, this 10-12 page portion of the book was an absolute highlight for me personally. Savage's violent battle with the dogs is a bloody carnage of broken legs, sliced throats and stabbings. Then, the starved, crimson-smeared Savage sits on a rooftop prepared to eat the raw carcass of a dead dog. Thankfully, there's another dog battle that leads him into a secret room where he finds that the prior owners were sacrificing infants on a Satanic altar! 

I can't help but think that Farmer was venturing off into a different style of storytelling, one that was wildly obscene yet mesmerizing. I was as equally entertained as horrified by the author's stark contrast to Dent's original work. Savage is caught for the final time and shipped to the notorious and supposedly impenetrable Loki prison camp, thus curbing Farmer's penchant for the peculiar.

The book's second-half explores Savage's life at the prison camp and his strategizing an escape from the facility. It's here that he is reunited with both Ham and Monk and the two continue there hilarious insults and banter. It's only a matter of time before Renny, Johnny and Long Tom make their introductions. Together, Savage and the five men form an escape plan while learning that Von Hessel may be performing terrifying experiments on the prisoners. In the book's finale, readers experience a small amount of pulp-fantasy that is reminiscent of Doc Savage's typical “super-powered” villains.

Escape from Loki receives an equal amount of love and disdain from Doc Savage fans. Some are alienated by Farmer's writing style and his attempts to capture the original style of Doc Savage storytelling. At the same time, fans appreciate this origin story and find that Farmer's characterization is spot-on (although universally everyone seems to agree that Farmer's treatment of both Monk and Ham was exceptional). For me personally, I've always had an average experience with Dent's original Doc Savage stories. The first half of Escape from Loki was remarkable and surpasses the better Savage narratives I've read. The second half wasn't quite as impressive with some sluggish scenes, a rushed (or even botched) ending and a halfhearted attempt at introducing Savage to his future colleagues.

Overall, Escape from Loki should be a mandatory read for Savage fans. It is clear that Farmer adored the series and attempted to treat the characters and fans with care and respect. While not perfect, the book was exhilarating at its best and easily acceptable at its worst. You deserve the opportunity to be your own judge.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

Friday, March 25, 2022

Paperback Warrior Primer - Nick Carter: Killmaster

The character of Nick Carter (or Nicholas Carter) was created by Ormond G. Smith and John R. Coryell in 1886. Smith was heir to the New York City publisher Street & Smith, the early catalyst for dime novels and pulp fiction as far back as 1855. Smith wanted a private-eye or detective character similar to Old Sleuth or Old Cap Collier to star in various forms of media. The first Nick Carter literary appearance began in New York Weekly, September 18, 1886, in a story called "The Old Detective's Pupil" or "The Mysterious Crime of Madison Square." The serial ran 13 total installments with the setting mostly being Victorian-Edwardian New York.  

Carter is described as 5' 4" and having bronze-skin, gray eyes, dark hair and a square jaw. The character was trained by his father, Old Sim Carter, to fight criminals, essentially becoming the opponent of global evil. He's a genius that is inhumanly strong and a master of disguise. The character was so popular with readers that Street & Smith created the Nick Carter Weekly dime novel series. These stories would later be reprinted as stand-alone titles under New Magnet Library. 

With its premier issue on October 15, 1915, the Nick Carter Weekly publication transitioned into Street & Smith's new Detective Story Magazine (just 10-cents twice a month!). The magazine ran 1,057 total issues, most of which concentrated on short crime-fiction with appearances from pulp heroes like The Shadow. The magazine's first 20 years featured covers by illustrator John A. Coughlin. In 1935, the magazine began suffering financial stress and officially stopped publishing in 1949.

Between 1924 and 1927, Street & Smith attempted a revival of the Nick Carter character in the pages of Detective Story Magazine. These stories also featured many of the same villains that Carter had faced in the prior Nick Carter Weekly publication (Dazaar the Arch-Fiend, Dr. Quartz, etc.). It seemed as if Carter's appearance in literature was over in 1927, but due to the success of The Shadow and Doc Savage, Street & Smith revived the character again. Between 1933 to 1936, the Nick Carter Detective Magazine was published. These stories introduced Carter as a more traditional hard-boiled detective. 

Beyond the page, two Nick Carter shows were featured on radio. Nick Carter, Master Detective radio show aired on Mutual Broadcasting System from 1943 to 1955. Nick Carter's son was the star of Chick Carter, Boy Detective from 1943 to 1945, followed by a film in 1946 under the title Chick Carter, Detective.

In 1908, the French film company Eclair ran a six-episode series starring Pierre Bressol as Nick Carter. Two French films were released, Nick Carter va tout casser (1964) and Nick Carter et le trefle rouge (1965). In Germany, four silent Nick Carter films were released: The Hotel in Chicago (1920), The Passenger in the Straitjacket (1922), Women Who Commit Adultry (1922), and Only One Night (1922). In the US, MGM released a trilogy of Nick Carter films: Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939), Phantom Riders (1940), and Sky Murder (1940). A television show called The Adventure of Nick Carter filmed one pilot, later released as an ABC movie.

The pulp version of Nick Carter continued in comic book form, with appearances in The Shadow, Army & Navy, and Doc Savage comics from 1940 through 1949. There was also a 1972 Italian comic strip and a Nick Carter comic book series from 1975. It lasted 12 issues and stars a character named Nick Carter that is a British soldier in WW2. However, it is not related to the Nick Carter spy series.

Little did fans know that a British secret-agent named James Bond would play a part in reviving the literary character 37 years later.

In the 1960s, Lyle Kenyon Engel began his plunge into paperback publishing. He was heir to his father's magazine publishing company, but sold that to become a publicity agent (supposedly one of his clients was the Today Show) and also a producer of children's records. To make an impact in publishing, he revived the familiar character of Nick Carter to capitalize on the 1960s spy fiction market. 

Nick Carter: Killmaster debuted in 1964 as a marketing attempt to cash-in on Ian Fleming's James Bond. The character was reinvented as a secret agent instead of a detective or private-eye. These novels were to be international adventures with a more robust approach compared to the serials, pulps and dime detective magazines. Basically, everything prior to 1964 was erased and this series was a complete reboot.

The general theme is that Nick Carter is an American secret-agent or spy working for an organization called Axe. The organization's leader is David Hawk. Axe and Hawk work closely with the American government and Hawk answers to "The Chief", presumably the U.S. President. Carter is referred to as N3 and we know there are other agents like him, also known as an N/number combination. In the first book, Run Spy Run, readers learn that Carter served in WW2 and also worked for OSS, the pre-cursor to what is now known as the CIA (like Matt Helm). Read our review of the book HERE.

One of the predominant characteristics of this version of Nick Carter is the three weapons he uses in the field. In the debut novel, it is explained that Carter took a Luger handgun from a German SS officer he killed in Munich during WW2. Carter named the gun Wilhelmina and it's included in nearly every novel. Hugo is the name for his Italian stiletto. He also carries a marble sized gas pellet that goes by the name Pierre. Carter can twist each half of the marble in separate directions and it will release a deadly toxin within 30-seconds, giving Carter enough time to flee the area. 

The Nick Carter: Killmaster series became immensely successful, running from 1964-1990 and offering 261 total novels. Each book on average sold 115,000 copies. Ironically, the series just lists Nick Carter as the author. The real authors aren't credited on the book's copyright page, a painful trademark of the series that frustrates readers, fans and collectors to no end. Engel typically split 50-50 with the authors he hired. He demanded lightning fast work, sometimes novels written in less than three weeks to meet furious deadlines. These books were released monthly, first by Avon and then later by Charter.

Notable author statistics:

- Valerie Moolman authored or co-wrote 11 novels between 1964 and 1967.

- Michael Avalone authored or co-authored 3 novels in 1964

-Manning Lee Stokes, of Richard Blade fame, wrote 18 novels

-Popular crime-fiction author Lionel White authored one Nick Carter book, the 18th installment from 1966. This was his second foray into spy fiction. He also wrote a stand-alone novel called Spykill under the name L.B. Blanco.

- Jon Messmann wrote 15 installments. Messman was a heavy contributor to action-adventure paperbacks. He was behind the popular adult western series The Trailsman along with the short-lived series titles Handyman: Jefferson Boone and The Revenger.

- George Snyder did 8 installments. He also wrote novels for the Grant Fowler series.

- Ralph Hayes authored 8 volumes in the series. He is known for his John Yard: Hunter series and Check Force among others.

- Martin Cruz Smith wrote 3 installments. Smith is primarily known for his Arkady Renko series that is still current to this day. The 1983 film Gorky Park was an adaptation of that series debut.

- Surprisingly, Chet Cunningham only wrote 1 book, # 72 Night of the Avenger, that was co-authored with Dan Streib

- Dennis Lynds authored 9 and his wife at the time, Gayle Lynds, wrote another 4. I've read one of Dennis Lynds' novels and I really enjoyed it. It was #211 Mercenary Mountain and it is reviewed HERE. Many will know Dennis Lynds as American author Michael Collins. He wrote the popular Dan Fortune series before his death in 2005.

- Saul Wernick wrote 5. Many remember him as writing the first Mack Bolan novel after Don Pendleton sold the series to Gold Eagle. 

- David Hagbert authored 25 books. He is primarily known for his CIA series starring Kirk McGarvey

- Death Merchant creator Joseph Rosenberger wrote 1.

- Jack Canon is the heaviest contributor with over 30 installments. I lost count, but I think it was 35. Not to be confused with Nelson Demille pseudonym Jack Cannon. 

- Robert Randisi authored 6 in the series. He's a respected western writer who also wrote 3 Destroyer books as well.

- Joseph Gilmore wrote 8.

- There are numerous authors that authored three or less that I haven't mentioned, but you can find a detailed list on or Wikipedia.

- There is yet another Nick Carter series that ran from 2011-2019 called Project. It's written by Alex Lukeman and again features a starring character named Nick Carter that is an anti-terrorist sort of hero. Again, not related to the Nick Carter spy series.

Lyle Kenyon Engel would go on to create Book Creations in the 1970s. Ultimately, it was a cash cow and a rather unique company. Engel would create a series, imagine the story, hire authors to write it and even create book cover art. Then he sold these to various publishers. He was the paperback king and died a multi-millionaire in 1986. 

You can listen to the Paperback Warrior Podcast episode dedicated to Nick Carter HERE and the episode spotlighting Lyle Kenyon Engel HERE.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Quantum Leap #01 - The Novel (aka Carny Knowledge)

It's summer 1992, I'm 16 years old, and taking summer driving school lessons in the bible belt. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I got home around 9pm to a sweltering hot house (we had no AC), turned on our brand new, state-of-the -art Zenith 25” cabinet television with full color and a remote control. I settled into a couch potato mood, pointed the clicker at the screen, and...there's nothing on television that interests me. I'm forced to watch summer syndication, the epitome of boredom. Although it began airing on NBC in 1989, I had never watched Quantum Leap up until that moment. NBC was running a special summer week of show reruns hoping to boost ratings going into a new season in the Fall. There I was with that memorable theme song, the blue lights, Sam Beckett electrifying and morphing into some static time traveling energy. My first experience with Quantum Leap. Oh boy. 

Quantum Leap was created by Donald P. Bellisario, the television mastermind of hit shows like Magnum P.I. and N.C.I.S. He pitched a science-fiction time-traveling show to NBC and it grew into a sensation, spawning comics, paperbacks, conventions, and five wildly entertaining seasons of television that remain in rotating syndication to this day. The show even gained a reboot in the Fall of 2022 with a new cast. 

The idea is rather simple. Dr. Sam Beckett created a time-traveling program, the Quantum Leap Accelerator, ran by a supercomputer deemed "Ziggy". The program is funded by the U.S. Government and housed in the New Mexico desert. The technology is supervised by a whiz named Gushie and a medical doctor named Tina. But, the most charismatic part of the show is Al, an Admiral that partners with Sam during the time travel. In the first episode, Sam steps into the accelerator and vanishes. He awakens to find himself in the past and controlling another person's body. Al can only appear to Sam as a hologram, but provides useful information from a colorful device called Handlink, which is a glorified smart phone. 

The accelerator transports Sam into the past, but some sort of supernatural intelligence is perceived to have taken over the whole program. Each episode, Sam learns that the person he is inside of will either die, cause others to die, or experience some sort of tragedy. His job is to avoid these events from happening - righting the wrongs. His insight is that Al can provide odds that whatever he is altering will correct the issue. Once he “fixes” the problem, Sam leaps through time and into another life. But, if he fails to correct the issue, there's a high probability that he will die in the event or be forced to live the remainder of his life as that person. While Sam is controlling the body of the person in the past, that same person is flung into the present day and remains in a waiting room inside of Sam's body. After all of this is fixed, things go back to normal and that person never realizes their course of life was altered. But, each leap Sam makes he is hopeful that he will return to himself, back to his real life, back home. 

There are several men's action-adventure novels that have the same vibe as Quantum Leap. Casca, Time Raider, and Richard Blade immediately come to mind. These are fun paperback series titles that create unique adventures with very little backstory required – hero simply solving the problem and moving to the next one. It only made sense for Universal to commission Berkley to create paperbacks affiliated with the show under their imprint Ace. These paperbacks feature different writers, freely able to create new adventures for Sam to leap into. Beginning in 1990, the first of 20 novels was published, although the first two were simply novelizations of television episodes and published separately through Corgi. 

The first of the Ace titles (18 total) was published in 1992 and simply called The Novel (aka Carny Knowledge in the UK). It was authored by Ashley McConnell, an American author that contributed to other television tie-in paperback novels in series titles like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stargate SG-1, and Highlander. As a fan of the show, and avid paperback reader, I gained a good deal on a Quantum Leap lot of 17 total books, including the The Novel. I thought I would leap into the series with what I consider the first original Quantum Leap paperback story. Thus, the #1 is attributed to the title. 

McConnell begins the book like the television show, with Sam glowing blue and awakening to find himself in the body of a 20-something male named Bob Watkins. Sam learns from Al that he is in a small town in Oklahoma during the summer of 1957. Bob Watkins works at a family owned amusement park that has seen its better days. He's sort of a loner, an oddball that many find different and strange. These character attributes will later play a part in the overall plot development. But, for now all Sam learns is that the park's brand new roller coaster will soon derail and seven people die. He's there to somehow prevent this from happening. 

The author provides an adequate explanation of the Quantum Leap concept and the characters involved. Additionally, she provides some unique insight into the things happening in the present with Al, Gushie, and Tina when Ziggy begins to malfunction. I thought this additional storyline helped diversify some of the narrative into different thought processes and character perspectives. However, the most unnerving perspective is that of the unknown killer, a man that apparently has some knowledge of the roller coaster and how to modify it into a murder machine. Several separate chapters feature perspective's from the killer's point of view and his memories of prior attacks. This reminded me of Mary Higgins Clark or Charles Runyon's shifting perspective into the mind of a killer.

While the day-to-day activities are slightly tedious – Sam fixing amusement park machines and rides, the park owner's struggles financially, family history accounts – the build-up into the seemingly inevitable accident was exciting. I really enjoyed McConnell's knowledge of the show, specifically citing prior television episodes and Sam's fixation on avoiding a mental hospital (a possible repercussion if he can't avoid the accident). This was really strong storytelling with a noticeable nod to the fans.

McConnell also authored series installments 2-4, and 7 and I'm looking forward to reading those. If you are a die-hard, a casual fan, or completely new to the show, this debut novel is an entertaining crime-fiction read. I love all of the vintage crime-noir pertaining to carnivals and circus acts, and with this story set in 1957 in a sleepy amusement park town, the noir element is easily replicated. The Novel is an easy recommendation. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dusky MacMorgan #01 - Key West Connection

Randy Wayne White became a New York Times bestselling author with his 25-book ‘Doc Ford’ series. Launched in 1990, the modern series stars a government agent turned marine biologist who fights crime in the Caribbean. However, before White went mainstream, he authored two men's action-adventure paperback series in the 1980s – 11 novels in the 'Hawker' series written as Carl Ramm and seven for the 'Dusky MacMorgan' series under the name Randy Striker.

In 1980, publishing heavyweight Signet was seeking a vigilante-styled series that would hopefully capitalize on the tremendous success of Mack Bolan. The publisher envisioned a hero with a distinct set of characteristics: Vietnam vet, Key West resident, handsome, and freakishly strong - consistent with 70s and 80s action-adventure pop-culture. They wanted the series to extend into a mammoth amount of volumes split up between four rotating authors.

A Signet editor spotted a short-story by White in an issue of Outside Magazine. As a possible candidate to join their writing foursome, the publisher pitched their paperback he-man hero to White and asked for three chapters. White, a Florida coastal resident and charter boat captain at the time, ran with the idea and wrote the series' first volume, “Key West Connection,” in just nine days. The publisher loved the book and quickly declared White to be the sole author of the project. The 'Dusky MacMorgan' series didn't gain enough sales success, but ran a total of seven installments from 1981-1982. The series served to provide some adequate writing experience for White, who would begin the longer-running 'Hawker' series for Dell in 1984.

In “Key West Connection”, readers are introduced to MacMorgan on his fishing vessel Sniper. Through some backstory segments we learn that MacMorgan was a child circus performer who lost his family in a big-top fire. Joining the Navy Seals at age 16, MacMorgan would go on to serve three combat tours in Vietnam. Retiring from service, he married an actress named Janet, moved to Key West and fathered twin sons. Now, MacMorgan runs a successful fishing charter for snowbirds looking for warm weather sport.

After hearing that his best friend Billie Mack had been murdered, MacMorgan tracks the killers to Mack's captured boat. In a graphic, violent display of MacMorgan's experience, he quickly catches the killers and learns they are drug runners for a corrupt U.S. Senator. Building a small empire in South America, the career politician targets MacMorgan's family, blowing up the family car and killing Janet and their two sons. Their deaths are the catalyst for MacMorgan's vendetta against the Senator and later the various crime rings in and around the Caribbean.

White writes at a tremendous pace and provides an average revenge styled thriller. Looking at the series longevity, White has MacMorgan team with a shadowy government agency to exploit and terminate island criminals. “Key West Connection” sets the bar fairly low but introduces a handful of characters that aid in making the story a little more dynamic. White describes MacMorgan as a “duck and fuck” series – the hero dodges bullets and screws a heroine in alternating chapters. I'd speculate that's about par for the course in terms of 80s men's action-adventure paperbacks. I prefer White's 'Hawker' series based on my small sample size of Dusky MacMorgan. I disliked the Hawker series debut, “Florida Firefight,” but later installments improved markedly. Maybe MacMorgan will find some traction and improve in later books. I'm in no real hurry to find out.

This novel was featured on the second episode of the Paperback Warrior Podcast on July 15, 2019. 

Buy a copy of this novel HERE

Friday, November 2, 2018

Canyon O'Grady #01 - Dead Men's Trails

Writing as Jon Sharpe, author Jon Messman was the primary architect and ghostwriter behind the popular adult western series, ‘The Trailsman.’ In 1989, Signet Books launched a new series called ‘Canyon O’Grady’ also using the Jon Sharpe house name, so it only made sense to have Messman pen the inaugural installment.

The premise of the Canyon O’Grady books is pretty interesting, and it’s quite similar in structure to Longarm. Canyon is a “U.S. Government Agent” who gets his investigative assignments directly from U.S. President James Buchanan. For instance, in Book 2, POTUS asks Canyon to protect the man working on a new invention called “the machine gun” before the device falls into the wrong hands. Book 5 finds Canyon working double duty to protect political rivals Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln from terrorists seeking to disrupt the next U.S. presidential election.

When asked the difference between a federal marshal and a U.S. Government agent, Canyon explains: “A federal marshal arrests people and brings them in. Sometimes he does some law-keeping. Mostly, though, he’s the arresting arm of the federal government. A government agent tracks down trouble and troublemakers anywhere and everywhere. Federal marshals have a territory. I go anywhere the trail takes me.”

The first book in the series takes place along the wild and lawless Kentucky-Tennessee border in 1859 where Canyon is undercover on a special assignment from the President involving the mysterious death of Meriwether Lewis of Lewis & Clark fame 50 years earlier - a cold-case homicide that becomes a manhunt and a treasure hunt.

Shortly after his arrival into a small Kentucky town, Canyon witnesses a targeted murder of a man who might have some answers regarding Lewis’ death. It turns out that the victim is one of several close associates suffering assassinations at the hands of hired hit squads because of a shared secret in their past. Only one of the group has survived and his comely daughter wants Canyon to find her reclusive and hidden father before it’s too late.

Because this is an adult western, you can count on regular breaks in the action for some mandatory graphic sex scenes. It took 37 pages for Canyon to get laid in the debut, so you know the author was really committed to the main plot. However, never fear - there’s also a substantial amount of cinematic and grizzly violence to keep the pages flying by.

Messman includes lots of details and backstory regarding our hero. Canyon was conceived in Ireland and born in the U.S. His father was an Irish revolutionary fleeing British rule with a price on his head. Canyon was classically educated by wise and learned Catholic friars and often quotes ancient Greek poets and sings Irish folk songs. He rides a beautiful palomino horse named Cormac after the Irish king of the 8th Century.

A fair amount of the novel is Canyon traveling through the wilderness accompanied by a beautiful girl in search of her father. They encounter many obstacles along the way requiring Canyon to save the girl’s bacon from mountain lions and rapey fur trappers. At times, the intensity of the violence approaches the level of the Edge series when the bullets begin to fly and the blood starts to flow. Meanwhile, the central mystery regarding the assassinations is remarkably compelling for a pulpy paperback.

The Canyon O’Grady series lasted for 25 books before folding in 1993. The authors changed hands with Chet Cunningham writing several and Robert Randisi delivering the final eight books. Canyon O’Grady and Skye “Trailsman” Fargo actually team up in Trailsman #100. As for this first episode, it’s an outstanding debut that makes the reader want to dig deeper into this fascinating hero. Recommended.

Buy a copy of this book HERE