#54 – Created The Destroyer, Warren Murphy BOOK REVIEW

July 8, 2018

You thought I’d read a couple of trashy Mack Bolan books about the USA’s vengeful black ops killing machine and then move on to some serious high-brow books, didn’t you? Probably thinking I’d read Taleb‘s Skin In The Game or perhaps some Tolstoy.

Allow me to disappoint you.

Destroyer 1

Soon after finishing my second straight Bolan book [1] I went onto Google and searched “books like Mack Bolan”. Apparently there’s a whole bunch of them of which The Destroyer series is one. What are the others? Well, how about we look at some of my recent text game with a hot chick by way of segue.

Dark Angel

The Baroness

That’s all well and good but I find it difficult to get behind kick-ass whores laying the smackdown on fully-grown men. I’m highly suspicious of any man into that sort of thing [2]. So, I bought the first volume in The Destroyer series. It’s rather more hardcore than Bolan. Really, I was quite surprised. It was written in the late 60s and the authors say it took eight years to find a publisher.

It’s easy to underestimate how wild the 60s were. Leftist terrorists like The Weathermen were setting off literally hundreds of bombs in the streets. The civil rights movement had unleashed huge levels of crime and police were pressured to look the other way.

Remo Williams is a Vietnam vet who was identified by a small shadowy government project. They seek to “balance the scales” now that criminals are able to hide behind the constitution and wreak havoc on the American way of life. Faced with either a totalitarian police state or a surrender to lawlessness, the US government has found a third way: Gulf Cooperation Council Commandos [3] wet works operators who assassinate key criminals and traitors. They recruit Remo by framing him for a murder, getting him the death penalty, then saving him from the electric chair with a sleep drug and emergency rewiring.

Quite why they went to that effort when the program has Presidential approval and thus he could’ve been given a new passport or “died” in a house fire escapes me. This is trash fiction, after all.

He wakes up in the training facility where a wily old Korean karate fighter called Chiun teaches him the Death Touch and lots of other ninja-level Eastern mystical moves. Perhaps my readers can correct me but Chiun doesn’t sound like a Korean name, and karate is Okinawan not Korean but…. well, you know what, let’s not look to hard at any of these things or it’ll ruin our enjoyment of the book.

After that set-up, Remo is basically The Punisher. He’s then sent to New York to take down a shadowy criminal cartel and eliminate an enigmatic killer called Maxwell. It’s very silly but a lot of fun. The writing carries it all at a nice pace, you get insight into the characters and the whole thing is hard-boiled without any dumb levity. Remo is a bad mo’ fo’.

I rattled through this in one evening, being just 200 pages. If you want high-octane trash I think Bolan has the military angle covered and Remo has the crime angle. Good forgettable stuff for a rainy afternoon.

[1] Review coming soon, don’t worry
[2] I suspect it’s a similar mindset of men into female anime characters and all that kawaii nonsense.
[3] Sorry, been reading lots of Thomas Wictor on Twitter so I’m seeing GCC fighters behind every bush and trashcan.


  1. Krauser,

    Do you review Blackdragon’s books? [No. Don’t rate him. K.]

  2. They made a movie of Remo in the 80s. Liked it as a kid:


    • He’s supposed to be so skilled with his martial arts stuff that he can give women the most powerful orgasms ever!

  3. It is a series with more than 200 books – the first 50 or so were written by the same authors, after that ghostwriters. I used to read them when i was a teenager – if you go a little further down the book series, they become quite enjoyable, IMO. Quite anti-left wing subjects , impressively so considering the then-current political and social climate

  4. If you still have a jones for men’s adventure fiction, consider checking out my Retreads series. It’s too right-wing and masculist for most normies, but my fans rank it above the paramilitary shoot ’em ups I enjoyed as a young man (like the Bolans). The paperback cover for Retreads #2, Tier Zero, is an intentional throwback to the men’s fiction glory days.

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