Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Butcher #31 Death in Yellow - Michael Avallone

The black marble eyes held only cruelty. Savoring the moment. "The arms, dear man, are forced into a cauldron of boiling water. Water so hot as to scald a man to death. But this is only for the arms--and when those arms are removed from the water, one can literally peel the skin from them as one peels a tender grape in the field. You see? So like the taking off of gloves from one's hands. Hence, The Gloves. Chinese riverboat pirates discovered this gem of torment in the middle of the fifteenth century, I think. It has been a staple of punishment ever since. You will not be able to shout out your agony loud enough, Butcher. Wait and see."

Pinnacle Book, June 1981, cover artist Fred Love
Yikes! Things look bad for The Butcher! As you can see by this explosive cover, The Butcher is up against a modern (sort of ) version of "The Yellow Peril" in his 31st adventure Death In Yellow.

This one is pure pulp adventure! Written by Michael Avallone under the house name Stuart Jason, this is the type of adventure that Doc Savage or The Spider might have gotten mixed up in. Minus the hot sex of course. The chick in the cover presents some major trouble for The Butcher, the kind of trouble ol' Doc Savage wouldn't have fallen for.

What happens is Butcher is hired by The White Hat agency (a branch of the government so secret that not even the President knows of its existence!) to look into a plot that involves a nerve gas being experimented on somewhere in the wilds of Florida. Butcher arrives in Miami and before he can hail a cab he's recognized by a hit man known as Needle Nick Olivier. Readers of the series know that The Butcher is a former mafia boss who bailed out of the criminal underworld. In effort to make amends he now works for "the good guys" as an operative of White Hat. Only, as we're reminded of in the beginning of every Butcher adventure, no one leaves the Mafia and lives! So part of the fun of this series is the Butcher having deadly run-ins with various hit-man goons looking to cash in on the open million dollar bounty for his head.

So where was I? Oh yeah, in Miami as the Butcher dispatches another goon who's recognized him. Needles Olivier is barely cooling on the carpet when Butcher hires a cab to chase after a sedan that appears to have been waiting for Needles. Turns out it's Butcher's lucky day, because the sedan belongs to an odd pair of ne'er-do-wells named Rollo Lewinson and his hot-to-trot sidekick Gorgeous Jean Johanesson. Seeing how easily Butcher dispatched Needles Olivier, Rollo Lewinson offers Butcher an opportunity to team up with him and Gorgeous Jean on a caper with millions. A caper involving a secret government project involved with a weapon to end all weapons. See what I mean by luck? Just like that The Butcher has hooked up with a couple of crooks going after the same thing he is. And besides, Gorgeous Jean is a major league nympho!

The flaming red sweater rose to half-mast, pulled to the crest of twin breasts which rose like howitzers from her chest. Bending, she cupped his head once more and urged herself forward until his face was buried in the spill of her ample flesh. There was nothing he could do but play her wild game. "Bite me--" she murmured huskily, swaying as she stood before him, gently crushing herself into him. "---go on--they're yours...suck, Butcher, me, Baby..."

Enough to make a southern gentleman stand up and whoop a rebel yell!

There is more S&M sex, and a whole lot of chop-socky Kung-Fu fighting with cats as fast as lightening to come for the Butcher as he tangles with a villain who models himself after Fu Manchu himself. There are beatings, sex, explosions, a femme fatale or two, guns, chases, tortures, double-crosses, flying fists, feet and teeth, It's some crazy shit going down and it's all a ton of pulpy good fun.

And you know you're in for a good time when you got breasts compared to howitzers!

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