Friday, August 26, 2011
50. Operation Stranglehold by Dan J. Marlowe
Operation Stranglehold is apparently the first Dan J. Marlowe book I've read, at least since I started the 50 books project. While I was reading it, I had him mixed up in my head with Donald Hamilton. That is cleared up now and it sounds like Marlowe had an interesting life history. Operation Stranglehold is part of the ongoing series of Drake books ("The man with nobody's face"). If this one is representative of the series, it is pretty standard mass paperback espionage fare of the period. I suspect he has better books in him. In this one, he has to rescue the son of a powerful politician from a spanish jail before the arrest can be used to make the politician look bad. Also, Drake's mentor or sometime partner had been sent out to do the job and got caught himself. So Drake and his super-hot girlfriend (who is also rich) go out to Spain and get involved in a decent little adventure.
It's not a great book and a bit of an inauspicious choice for my 50th, but it was competent enough and had some good little details about trying to get through the authorities in rural spain, some nice stuff on a train. It just had no real bite or thrill. There is one really weird thing and that is the conceit of the book, that Drake has had extensive plastic surgery and thus looks really weird and anonymous. He has no hair on his head at all, wears wigs and has to wear make-up in the sun! How the hell does he get a super-hot babe girlfriend? Doesn't everybody think he looks like a disturbing weirdo?
Note, this cover is not my own. I've got the same one, but there are no scribbles on it. I picked it up in my Nova Scotia trip. I'll scan mine when I can find it again (told you I was busy!)