Book Review: Latest two 'Destroyer' novels fun but more for series loyalists

October 30, 2017

 

Pulp Pulpit

The Destroyer series, which features ex-cop turned government assassin Remo Williams and his Korean mentor Chuin, dates back to the 70s's men's action paperback boom spawned in part by the Executioner series. It outlasted most of its competitors by establishing a loyal cult following generated in part by its unique internal mythology and a sense of humor.

 

The latest two books in the series, 'End of the World' (#150) and 'Bully Pulpit' (#151), have the humorous banter, political satire and blend of straight action with borderline science-fiction/fantasy that keep the books readable. But these latest entries don't quite have the bite or attention to detail that made the earlier book readable. Although late series creator Warren Murphy is credited on the front cover (he co-wrote the earlier books with late novelist Richard Saphir), the new books were written by R.J. Carter.Both books feature plots involving religion and the potential end of the world.'End of the World' pits Remo and Chuin against a hostile Mayan deity that is taking control of the United States armed drone program. It features a glimpse into Remo's personal background that proves interesting for established fans.

 

'Bully pulpit' features a delusional televangelist that is arming a group of bumbling Islamic terrorists. The idea is to destroy the world through a series of explosions conducted in tandem on a strict timetable. Old adversaries of Remo figure into the plot, although the passage of time appears to have been oddly ignored. Longtime fans of the series should enjoy these, although there are a few bizarre continuity errors (example: series hero Remo is an ex-Marine but here is mentioned as ex-Air Force). Readers may wonder whether these represent a reboot.

 

The new writer does a fair approximation of the style established for the series and keeps the books entertaining enough to be readable, but they seem compressed and lack the depth of detail that made the earlier entries habit-forming. I would steer readers new to the series toward the earlier books, but completists should still enjoy the latest two installments.

 

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