To avenge his family, a soldier brings home the Vietnam War
In the jungles of Southeast Asia, no sniper was more ruthless than Mack Bolan. After twelve years in-country, with ninety-five confirmed kills, he comes home to the United States only to find that his father has gone berserk, slaughtering his family before taking his own life. But Mack knows his father was no killer. He was under pressure from a gang of Mafia thugs who were after his money and were willing to destroy his life to get it. For the sake of his old man, Bolan declares war on the men who drove him mad.
Five loan sharks are getting into their car when a bullet slams one of them to the ground. Before the others can draw their guns, four more shots ring out, leaving them as the first casualties in the Executioner’s war. From his hometown to every city in America, Mack Bolan will deliver justice from the barrel of a gun.
My first time with this author and while I enjoyed this book and am happy to have read it, I’m going to exercise remarkable restraint and not rush out and buy the following 40 or so in the Mack Bolan series.
Bolan is an elite sniper in Vietnam, when he gets called back to the States. His father has gone mad with a shot-gun, killing his mother and sister and injuring his brother before turning the gun on himself. After a few enquiries and a discussion with his brother, Bolan discovers that money problems caused the tragedy. His father borrowed money from a Mafia controlled loan sharking operation, couldn’t pay it back, so unknown to him, Bolan’s sister enlisted as a prostitute to get the family off the hook. When the father found out, he cracked and BOOM…….
Bolan stays stateside and starts taking revenge, first taking out the five men who front the loan operation. Despite being the main suspect of the police there is only a strong suspicion that Mack is the killer and no evidence. In short order, he infiltrates the mob by signing on as a protector for part of the prostitution operation, then starts attacking it from within having learned a few secrets of the movement.
The Mafia retaliate and put a bounty on his head. After having been shot himself, Bolan barely escapes the clutches of the police, we have Bolan temporarily recuperating from his injury in the arms of a lady – Valentine Querente. Val was conveniently searching for her cat when Bolan barged into her house and out of the clutches of the police. She has never experienced love until Mack darkens her door step. Mack once recovered is only too happy to show her his weapon.
After a bit of R+R and TLC, Mack having professed his love for the lady, takes the war back onto the streets, careful not to antagonise or target the police, elements of which are sympathetic to his mission. Mayhem ensues as Bolan shows ruthless efficiency in disrupting the Mafia operation with an ever increasing body count.
Despite the lack of any convincing emotional depth to the characters, I really enjoyed this story…..plenty of shoot ‘em, stab ‘em, punch ‘em action that made it quite a quick read. I was unconvinced by the love aspect of the novel and similarly by the lack of grief or anguish Mack seemed to feel at the news his family had more or less been wiped out. He seemed fairly indifferent to the future of his surviving brother, other than some cursory arrangements he made. A bit of a robot is Mr Bolan, but an entertaining one nevertheless.
Memorable? No, I don’t think so, but it was a decent enough read and the pages turned fairly quickly.
4 from 5
Don Pendleton served in the US Armed Forces during the Second World War and subsequently in Korea, before working for NASA. With his Executioner series he became regarded as “the father of action/adventure.” He died in 1995.
His author website is here.
Open Road have re-published some (maybe all?) of the Bolan series recently for kindle. I accessed this one via Net Galley.
Blog friend Prashant has a couple of recent posts on Mack Bolan.