Thursday, February 17, 2011

#6: The Skeleton Coast Contract by Philip Atlee

Joe Gall, The Nullifier, heads off to Africa to keep a priceless stash of diamonds from Commie hands in Philip Atlee's The Skeleton Coast Contract.

I have read a handful of Atlee's Joe Gall books, featuring a swinging, politically incorrect spy protecting America's interests from the Red Menace.  Like Edward Aarons, Atlee was a prolific paperback writer who should probably receive more attention by contemporary readers.  Unlike Aarons, Atlee's Joe Gall is a little funnier and full of opinions that politely can be called a product of their time.

The Skeleton Coast Contract reads a bit more like a Men's Adventure style book than some of the other entries, with Gall left for dead in the desert and later buried up to his neck and set upon by flesh-eating ants  (though he doesn't wander so far afield that he forgets to leave time for bedding and boozing).

I had about tapped out my Joe Gall collection when I found a surprising handful at a used bookstore.  This entry is from the early 60s, from where I have mined some fresher Atlee novels, and I enjoyed this one quite a bit and read it quickly.

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