Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: TARGET: DOOMSDAY ISLAND

In this 1973 Nick Carter, Killmaster adventure from Award Books and an anonymous ghost writer, the intrepid top agent of AXE heads to a private Caribbean paradise owned by a reclusive military contractor named Grady Ingersoll, to determine whether the eccentric billionaire has fallen under the influence of aforeign power and stolen for them the plans for a new nuclear missile system called Tripleheader.

The government has become concerned because Grady has recently taken to hosting huge parties for pot smoking, free loving hippies at his island home. Or islands, actually: Grady owns Double Cay, two tiny isles (Doomsday Island and Resurrection Island) where he has built – and is building – luxury resorts. Obviously, no upstanding American industrialist would indulge in such obvious subversive decadence unless something was seriously wrong, right?

This particular Nick Carter is actually pretty decently written, with a fairly straight-forward plot, plenty of gunplay, intriguing femme fatales, and the usual Seventies trappings, including easily duped, clueless hippies and sinister Red Chinese agents. There's not as much sexual content as in other books in the series from the same era, so maybe this ghost writer was more interested in other kinds of action.

Worked for me. Target: Doomsday Island is a fun, fast trip back to the Seventies.

I'm a big fan of the Nick Carter paperbacks, and recently recovered my collection from my parents' basement. I actually read this – along with a few more – over a month ago, but wasn't able to scan the cover until tonight. Look for more Nick Carter reviews in the future.

2 comments:

Zokko said...

I haven't read this but I'll track down a copy. It sounds fun. The American editions always had better covers than the British ones. 'Spy Castle' is another solid entry, as is 'Macao', 'Operation Moon Rocket' and 'The Mind Killers'. I wish someone would reprint these with the original authors credited. I would love to know which were the Martin Cruz Smith ones.

Pidde Andersson said...

"Target: Doomsday Island" is written by Richard Hubbard.
Martin Cruz Smith wrote #66: "The Inca Death Squad" (1973), #69: "Codename: Werewolf" (1973) and #76: "The Devil's Dozen" (1984).
"Spy Castle" (#12, 1966) and "Macao" (#31, 1970) are by Manning Lee Stokes, "Operation Moon Rocket" (#32, 1968) by Lew Louderback, and "The Mind Killers" (#57, 1970) is by Jon Messman.