Monday, May 13, 2019

THE WRECKING CREW


Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

The Wrecking Crew, Donald Hamilton, Faucett, 1960, 176 pp
 
 This is the second book in Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series, about an assassin for a secret government agency which is probably some department of the CIA. I thought the first one was pretty good, wasn't sure if I would go on. But I am having a bout of obsession with the CIA. Perhaps because I am currently reading Robert Caro's The Passage of Power, #4 in his biography of Lyndon B Johnson. In the section I read last week, LBJ is Vice President to John F Kennedy and the whole Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis has been going on. The CIA was deeply involved with attempts to assassinate Castro.
 
In The Wrecking Crew, Matt Helm has been sent to find and destroy a Russian agent. The locating of and chase after this mythically elusive agent takes place in Sweden. It is winter and it is cold. He finally faces Caselius in the north woods of the country's ore region.

As in the first book, Death of a Citizen, the women are sexy and dangerous. Helm has to deal with annoying agents on his own side, never sure who he can trust. The story put me in mind of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series due to the location, though Hamilton indulges in some typical 1960s cringe-worthy descriptions of his female characters. Two of them die during the caper. It's all in a days work in these early secret service novels.

Still, it was a quick and entertaining read. I decided I would continue with the series. Thanks again to blogger Lisa at Captivated Reader for finding these books for me.

8 comments:

  1. I kind of remember the Matt Helm films. I remember them as not being serious at all. The books sound a bit better. Have you read Ian Fleming? If so, how does this compare to his books?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Cyber Kitten told me about the movies. I would put Helm as being a bit more serious than Ian Fleming and less serious than John le Carre. What I like about these books is that they are American whereas the other two are British. They seem to have been the first fiction about American secret service.

      Delete
  2. The Sweden locale would interest me. & that they're about early American secret service. I don't recall the films.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had never heard about the books, the author, or the films until Lisa told me of them.

      Delete
  3. I never read any of these books and, frankly, they don't sound like anything I'd care to read, but it's good that you found this one entertaining. Any book that can entertain you must have some value!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, entertainment is a factor. Mostly though I wanted a comparison to all the British spy fiction of the day.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the shout out! Nice to read your review of the next novel in the Matt Helm Series... I haven't read any of the books in this series, but like spy thrillers... So maybe I should try one or two of them for myself. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you deserve thanks for finding them for me. They are doing the job as far as what I wanted to know.

      Delete