DONALD HAMILTON – The Threateners. Matt Helm #26. Fawcett Gold Medal, paperback origina1, 1992.

   It’s become fashionable to curl the lip at series like Matt Helm, and speak of “formula,” and “predictable.” Well, okay; so what? Sausage and eggs haven’t changed a hell of a lot over the last 25 years either, but it’s still my favorite breakfast, and a Helm book is still pretty tasty, too.

   An old flame of Helm’s pops up out of nowhere and is killed, along with Helm’s dog and the in-hiding author of a drug exposé book. Helm shepherds the widow to South America to retrieve material for another book, dodging both members of a rival government agency (Hamilton has used this device a lot; maybe a little too much) and the drug lord di tutti drug lords.

   Ihere’s a few more killings, a couple of seductions, and a torture scene or two — Helm must be solid scar tissue by now. Sound familiar? Well, it is. If you’re looking for something new and different, look elsewhere. Me, I still like ’em just fine.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #5, January 1993.

Bibliographical Note:   There proved to be only one more Matt Helm adventure, that being The Damagers (Gold Medal, 1993).