#53 – Murder Island, Don Pendleton’s Executioner BOOK REVIEW

June 29, 2018

“The world is full of bloodthirsty men, but not all of them are brutal hunters. And those who would betray their brothers, their allies or their country will have to deal with me” – Mack Bolan.

Murder Island

Looking a bit gay now, mind

Who is Mack Bolan? you say.

He’s the guy who starts this book fighting a tiger in the atrium of a penthouse atop a Hong Kong skyscraper, absorbing the tiger’s lunge as they crash through the glass and tumble down a floor into a swimming pool.

Mack has already wiped out all the guards at the penthouse, who were protecting the arms dealer he was sent to kill. That same arms dealer escaped into a helicopter and strafed the building with a mounted M-60 machine gun, so Bolan leaps off the top of the skyscraper [1] into the helicopter, shoots the pilot, and breaks the target’s nose. Job done. Target acquired.

He felt sorry for the tiger and let it limp away defeated after the unexpected dunking in the swimming pool.

So, that’s how hard Mack Bolan is and it’s only chapter one of twenty. This book is only one of over nine hundred “The Executioner” books [2] that have been translated into thirty languages and seen more than 200 million copies in print. That’s a fucking ton of scrapes that Mack has gotten himself into.

They all have a fast-paced high-action style with punchy short sentences and no fucking around with characterisation and nuance. There’s some bad guys, a bunch of henchmen, and Bolan is going to execute every fucking last one of them [3] Just look at these covers, for fuck’s sake.


Do you see any homo bullshit in that?

I’ve read a dozen of them and Murder Island is a pretty creditable entry in the saga. After handing over the arms dealer, Byron Cloud, to his agency at a private airport they are soon under attack by a terrorist-filled truck. Guess how that works out for the terrorists. The plane takes off but goes missing over the Devil’s Sea on it’s way to Japan so Bolan gives chase, as do Cloud’s henchman now hankering after the bounty on their ex-boss’s head. Bolan’s plane is shot down over an unknown island by an anti-aircraft gun [4] and he’s captured by the local militia.

That militia is headed by a lisping upper-class Brit, Sarban Rainsford, who has spent his whole life hunting and has set up the island to amuse himself hunting humans. It’s a bit weird but lots of fun [5]

I really enjoyed this book, as I did the others. It’s short, trashy, boyish fun with no PC bullshit and a very clear white hat vs black hat dynamic. The characters are good enough to survive a two-hundred page book without getting boring and have sufficient separation between them that I never got confused who was who. I started it at 9pm when I was sitting in Caffe Nero with my Kindle seeing what I could download for 99p and read non-stop until 1am to finish.

“As he spoke, a rage began to build in the Executioner. It was not a boiling rage, but rather cold and focused. He had met many evil men over the years, men for whom human life was a token in some incomprehensible game, but rarely has he come across a creature like Rainsford. Beneath his calm discussion of slaughter was the snarl of a rabid animal, one the Executioner must put down at all costs.”

Bolan Save The Children

THAT’S how you do charity

If you’d like to read an ongoing series of books about a man who lets the Executioner go off risking his life fighting bad guys while he skulks around shagging his women, you might like my memoir series starting with Balls Deep.

[1] Without a parachute or safety line, mind you. He’s that tough.
[2] And numerous parallel series in the same universe, such as Stony Man, Phoenix Force, Able Team, and Super Bolan.
[3] I’m hoping that following #MAGA the series is relaunched with him mopping up The Cabal and the Soros network.
[4] He jumps out, puts on a parachute in mid-air, and is attacked by three giant crocodiles when he lands. He kills two.
[5] And no less believable than Casanova’s memoir.

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