Saturday, March 25, 2023

#8: Operation Snake by Nick Carter

Red China tries to get its hands on Nepal, and it's up to Killmaster Nick Carter to stop them, in Operation Snake, one of Jon Messman's entries in the long-running spy series.

Carter needs (various kinds of ) help from two women, one a British journalist and the other the daughter of a local leader.  Less inviting is a pit of snakes and a Yeti-type creature, all in a day's work for Carter.

Messman's entries are often considered some of the better ones from a wide range of offerings, and he wrote steadily in "Men's Adventure" and westerns under a number of names (his Trailsman series preeminent among them).

60s Nick Carter doesn't offer much in the way of finely-shaded characterization but offers plenty of slam-bang action, of which this entry is one.  Good for fans.

I got this in a big stack of Nick Carters and read it quickly.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

#7: Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

A young man saves an art dealer from drowning, only to become unnaturally interested in his subsequent life, in Antoine Wilson's chilly tale of obsession Mouth to Mouth.

Wilson writes one of my favorite styles of noir here, the unreliable narrator, but frames it at a curious remove; the narrator is talking to another character he comes across in an airport lounge, and tells the rather eye-opening story of how he became an art dealer in his own right.  To me it was an odd framing device that takes a little of the punch away.

But an enigmatic ending really sticks the landing, after several surprises along the way.

I bought this on a recommendation from a bookseller in England and read it on the plane back from a trip there.  Solid thriller.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

#6: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Anne is convinced to call off an engagement, but years later--still unmarried--gets a second chance with Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen's mature, final work Persuasion.

Austen seems like an unusual read in the midst of westerns and crime novels, but I am helping my wife with an English field study and wanted to read along with the college class.  This one takes place in Bath, one of the stops on the field study.

Austen is a smart, literate writer and her novels are considered peerless in terms of writing about British society and 19th-Century relationships.  Recommended for any reader.

I listened to a good audiobook read on loan from the New Castle-Henry County Library in New Castle, Indiana.