The Removers by Donald Hamilton ~ 1961. This edition: Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1963. Paperback. 176 pages.
Sometimes pictures are the best shortcut. Here we are then, with all you really need to know.
Oh, you didn’t really think I’d let this go without writing something more, did you?
I’ll keep it ultra-brief.
Think period piece, Cold War era kill-or-be-killed action fiction.
Beautiful women, in various shades of dangerous, dot our hero’s personal landscape.
Russian spies (or are they?), drug dealers, and an atomic sub-plot.
Helm drives an old pickup truck; his current love interest a ladylike shiny-new Mercedes ragtop; his ex-wife’s new man a sweet green Jaguar. Vroom vroom.
Blood flows, lots and often.
Matt Helm adds some interesting scars to his vast collection.
And you’ll never look at an Afghan hound the same way again.
In other words, good manly entertainment, clipping along in top gear speed.
My rating, you ask?
Because it was so much better than I expected it to be. (My expectations were admittedly quite low.) Turns out that I couldn’t put it down.
Number three in a series of something like twenty-three. Or is it twenty-seven? Hang on. Twenty-seven. Thank you, Wikipedia.
Next stop, ABE, for the two preceding books, because these build on each other in good serial fiction fashion.