As I mentioned, this is the most expensive Executioner book I own. Or that I paid for, anyway. Blood Rules, the preceding book in the series, was the first in a “trilogy.” As I owned the first and the third, I had to order the middle one off of the Internet to get it, so I paid more than the fifty cents I usually spend on Executioner books. I spent like five whole dollars. So I will definitely put this in the book safe. Or maybe I mean I should buy a book safe for valuable tomes like this one.
It continues the story that teams Able Team, Phoenix Force, and Mack Bolan fighting against the Columbian drug cartels. The story focuses primarily on Bolan and Grimaldi as they work in Columbia, setting the cartels against each other and denting production and manufacturing facilities. They find help in an elite Royal Canadian Mounted Police (!) team, a dying priest, and a Justice Minister who wants to make a difference. Meanwhile, Phoenix Force starts closing in on the strongman in Panama only to be interrupted by a U.S. invasion. The book skips over Able Team in Miami for the most part, which tightens it up a bit even though the book contains a couple of smaller subplots that fit within the confines of the book and add a little bit of interesting asides.
So this is probably the best book in the trilogy; as you know, gentle reader, Bolan books and other subscription books of the type were farmed out to a team of writers with plot outlines and maybe some scenes to include. But the first included sex scenes atypical to the series; this one some depth found in better books; and the third, which I have started, is pretty straight forward Bolan. Compare and contrast: This volume is 350 pages, and the third a touch over 200. More typical Bolan length for the era.
The only quibble I have with the book is that he mentions the chain guns on an Apache helicopter, and if you had asked me in 1991, I could have told you that the AH-64 had a single 30mm gun. Not so much because my recently passed aunt worked logistics for the Army aviation back in the day, but more because I got Microprose’s Gunship in 1986 or 1987 and played it a lot.
Okay, another quibble: Each team member on the fire teams tends to have his own weapon in his own chambering. Come on, a little standardization would be very, very handy if you had to change weapons or share magazines in the heat of battle. Richard Marcinko doesn’t make those sorts of mistakes, anyway.
Still, this was a good entry in the series. After I finish the third, I’ll have to really reflect on the pace of my reading these books. If I only read 10 a year, I still have, what, five or six years to go? And I won’t be able to keep up that pace when we get to the thicker titles later in the series. Perhaps I should make it a goal to read them all before I die; however, when acutely fearing mortality, I tend to want to read better things. So I guess I’ll keep plugging at them as I feel like it.