Thursday, July 2, 2009

#22: The Silken Baroness Contract by Philip Atlee

Secret agent Joe Gall, "The Nullifier," goes deep undercover to sort out various intrigues in the Canary Islands and elsewhere in Philip Atlee's enjoyable spy outing The Silken Baroness Contract.

As I wrote recently, I have a renewed interest (along with a fair chunk of fandom) in finding some pulpy Gold Medal books of the 50s-70s, and getting acquainted (or re-acquainting myself) with this body of work.

I had not read Atlee before and found myself pleasantly surprised. His protagonist, Joe Gall, never found a doll he didn't want to bed or a commie he didn't want to kill, but Atlee has a great sense of detail and place and passages of fine writing, as well as finely-tuned action scenes and bolts of (non-PC) humor. Gall was a more well-rounded character than I thought I would find, once you get past all of the saber-rattling (including one eyebrow-raising scene where Gall, in a steambath, kneads the stump of a Korean War vet who lost his leg).

I thought I would briefly dip into Atlee before resuming another Edward S. Aarons book, but find myself inclined to try Atlee again sooner.

I bought this book in a happily large lot of Gold Medal paperbacks from ebay.

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