Friday, May 24, 2013

Nick Carter - Hood of Death

Hood of Death is the 34th novel in the Killmaster series. The novels eventually totaled over 250 in number, so this one is early in Nick Carter's adventures with AXE, the top secret government agency he reports to.

I've read a few Nick Carter novels over the years and don't remember any as not being fast, entertaining reads. I thought this one would pretty much be the same going, especially judging by the crazy cover.

Award Books, 1968
This adventure was penned by William L. Rhodes and had an intriguing enough premise, but unfortunately kind of went nowhere. Maybe I was too detached, but for nearly half the novel I wasn't even sure what Carter's assignment was, and I wasn't the only one. Even Nick Carter bitched about how bored he was. You know you have a problem when the hero is complaining about being bored.

To sum it up, several Washington D.C. big shots, players in the world of politics and influence, have turned up dead, seemingly of natural causes. First thought might be, who the hell cares. But it's Nick's job is to find out what's going on, and if there is a more sinister reason afoot than just a couple old farts getting the terminal vapors in the sack. He does this by impersonating a swinger named Jerry Deming, a representative for a west coast oil company. His job is to hang around the swanky parties in Washington D.C. and see if anything interesting is going on, and, specifically, who might have wanted the recently deceased big shots permanently ejected from the parties. The one thing each had in common was that they'd been recently linked to a close circle of Asian beauties, assumed to be high rent call girls.

Of course it's just the job for a stud like Nick Carter, and he wastes barely any time getting one of the girls, Ruth Moto, to fall out of her clothes for his charms as Jerry Demming, oil man with a sketchy background and a salary of 16K per year. We get some entertaining sex scenes in this novel as Jerry Demming carouses his way through the party scene, hooking up with each of the Asian beauties in question. Occasionally there is a half-assed attempt on his life in the process, and the usual ass-kicking that follows, but the plot doesn't seem to know where it wants to go. Eventually he hooks up with the stunning Jeanyee Ahling, who is so sexy that Nick wonders if he might actually be falling for her. Trouble is, she could be a deadly assassin. Still, damn she's hot, and a fella can't ask for too much of a good thing, right?

I think the biggest problem is that there wasn't a major bad guy behind the assassination plots, nor is there really any purpose for using hot sexed up babes to lure the victims to their death, other than providing numerous passages showing us what a stud Carter is...which in the end is the point I guess. These aren't exactly novels that are going to give you a lot to sink your teeth into.

All in all it was fairly well written, in spite of the poor plotting. Both the sex and the violence is vividly rendered. I've read worse books by supposedly more "talented" writers with better promotion behind them then William L. Rhodes. So, I guess for the buck it cost me, it wasn't too bad. And I still like the cover.

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