A few months ago I read
the trilogy that killed Colonel John Phoenix and brought Mack Bolan back to the
world. I had meant to write a detailed review when I read these, but time (a
lack of it) conspired against me. The trilogy includes two Executioner novels,
62, Day of Mourning and 64, Dead Man Running, both written by
Stephen Mertz and the Super Bolan title, Terminal
Velocity written by Alan Bomack. Alan Bomack is a pseudonym and a snazzy
anagram (with a little cheating) of Mack Bolan. The books were published
between February and April 1984.
Day of Mourning is the best non-Don Pendleton Mack Bolan books I’ve read. It is a straight
ahead thriller with a terse, hard-boiled style, matching the originals very
well. It chronicles the murder of April Rose and a grave threat to Stony Man
The story continues with Terminal Velocity, which has the feeling
of two separate novels smashed together. Its purpose in the story arc is to
introduce Greb Strakhov, and the reason for Strakhov's grudge against Bolan.
Its style is less hard-boiled than DOM,
but in its own right an entertaining and very readable thriller.
The trilogy finds its
conclusion with Dead Man Running,
which is a fine finale. It is a slight step down from DOM, but it admirably chronicles Mack’s journey from Colonel
Phoenix back to Mack Bolan. All done while hunting the mole who gave up Stony
Man to the Soviets and indirectly caused the death of April Rose.
These, especially the two
written by Stephen Mertz, are really terrific action thrillers.
This review, in slightly different form, originally
appeared on Gravetapping’s Facebook page. If you don’t follow Gravetapping on FB, you should, and here is the link.