Book Report: Jersey Guns by Don Pendleton (1974)

This book marks Pendleton’s return to the series after the one-off Sicilian Slaughter by Jim Peterson. By comparison, it’s a better book. Also, it’s clear that the book was planned to be number 16 in the series, as it mentions 15 different campaigns and begins the same way as 16, with Bolan wounded and needing attention. Instead of going to a bad doctor in Manhattan, though, he’s taken in by a brother and sister on a New Jersey farm. Actually, since Bolan was unwounded at the end of Peterson’s book, they had to graft a wounding into the first chapter. But it’s pretty clear what happened in the real world. Also, the back has a bio and photo of Pendleton to show he does exist and does not (yet) represent a stable of writers.

Bolan has to recuperate in hiding while the mob searches the countryside for him. He does, but his benefacting farmers are captured by the mob, so Bolan has to conduct a rescue instead of just hitting and gitting.

Contrasting a bad Bolan book with a Pendleton Bolan book really puts the latter into stark relief. The books often begin with epitaphs from famous poets and philosophers followed with a Bolan quote to spin it; the books also feature cast-off allusions to classical literature that one finds in a lot of WWII veteran-aged pulp writers that you don’t really see in modern popular fiction. Telling.

Books mentioned in this review:

3 thoughts on “Book Report: Jersey Guns by Don Pendleton (1974)

  1. Brian,
    Don never considered Sicilian Slaughter part of the original Executioner series and was not happy it was published during his lawsuit with the publisher. All of his books are listed at the official Don Pendleton website, which I maintain.

    Good luck with your book.

    Linda Pendleton, author

  2. It certainly wasn’t on par with the ones your husband wrote, either. Neither were the ones after he sold the franchise.

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