Book Report: The Castro File by Joseph Rosenberger (1974)

Book coverThis book is the 7th entry in the Death Merchant series. Every once in a while, I like to wander away from the Executioner series and the SOBs series to see if I might be missing out on any other good pulp paperback series from the seventies and eighties.

And, brothers and sisters, this book is not one of them.

The series deals with a mercenary hired by the CIA for particularly dangerous operations. Richard Camellion (get it?) will do anything for $100,000, as long as it involves killing commies, but not innocents or something. This time around, the CIA sends him to Cuba to derail a Russian plot to kill Castro and replace him with a double to prevent the Cuban dictator from detenteing with the United States.

The plot is okay, but the execution is awful. We have a chapter of action to start off when the Death Merchant’s cover is blown in Havana, then we have some chapters of flashbacks of the Death Merchant meeting with the head of the CIA, the Cubans getting together and talking about their goals, the Russians talking about their operation, and then another chapter of action or so after the board meeting ends. And the action chapters aren’t so great, either. All the exclamation points! Body parts doing balletic things! Derogatory terms for the bad guys in the narrative!

I was going to rank this book as amongst the worst of the genre I’ve read when a visit to the author’s page on Fantastic Fiction uncovered why this book tied with COBRA 2: Paris Kill-Ground: They were written by the same author 13 years apart. And apparently, he had not gotten any better.

On the other hand, the fellow has more individual titles in print than I’ve sold actual copies of my novel, so take that for what it’s worth.

Books mentioned in this review:

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