Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Liquidator by R.L. Brent

The Liquidator by R.L. Brent
Award Books AQ 1507
Copyright 1974

I've read a lot of decent 70s "Vengeance against the Mafia" series novels and I've read a lot of crappy ones. Having just finished the first in The Liquidator series, I have to say this was one of the better ones.

"I wanted to see the cop who was dumb enough to bust Monk Simon," she said in a low voice. "Don't you know he's more important than Kissinger?"
"That's the reason I busted him," Jake said.


Jake Brand is a rock hard Miami cop. Having seen his patrolman father killed by a crazed drug addict and his older brother blasted by a Mob hit, Jake bends the rules to take down the Organization. He makes plenty of enemies, which forces the Mob to put an end to Jake their top priority. They set him up to take the fall for a murder rap and Jake is sent to prison for five long years. When our boy gets out he's got one thing to live for... and he sets out to even the score.

Yes this story has been told before, but not written as well as this one. R. L. Brent (pseudo. for Larry Powell) shows his talent. The characters have solid personalities, the plot holds the reader and has none of the "goofiness" that I witnessed in other similar testosterone adventure novels, and I thoroughly enjoyed the action-packed plot. And best of all, Jake even comes off as a realistic character (well, sort of) and you can't help but like the rough guy.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one and I don't know if the others in this series are as good. But I will be reading another to find out. (Jake left a few strings hanging to prepare us for the second novel)

The Liquidator (1974)
Contract For a Killing (1974)
The Cocaine Connection (1974)
Invitation To a Strangling (1975)

14 comments:

andrew said...

Glad to have you back!

- Andrew

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Wow, I'd almost given up on your returning. I am pleased to see that you are back in the saddle.

Cheers,
Jeff

David Cranmer said...

Yeah!

Welcome back.

WalkerP said...

Wow! You're back! That was a delayed 2-3 weeks. Really glad to see your reviews and hope that your absence wasn't do to anything too untoward.

WalkerP said...

And oh yes, The Liquidator sounds worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you, man.

John Hocking

JJ Stickney said...

Welcome back.

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Glad you've returned!

What I love about late-sixties/early-seventies books and films is how they avoid using the term "Mafia" and instead bleach out the ethnicity and refer to organized crime as "The Syndicate", "The Organization", or "The Outfit." Only when The Godfather made it chic did everyone relent and call it the Mafia.

Frank Loose said...

Welcome back! I have missed your posts a lot. As your proclaimed "2-3 weeks off" turned into many many months, I wondered if you had ridden off into the sunset. A lot of folks will look forward to having your posts available again.

Anonymous said...

I also thought the Liquidator series was very good. But the author was a mystery to me. Does anyone know other novels that Brent or Powell authored?

Bill Khemski

Pericles said...

He's back!

Andrew Byers said...

Great to have you back blogging again!

I'm not familiar with the Liquidator (it's hard to keep all the titles in the anti-Mafia vigilante genre straight), but it sounds like it's worth checking out.

Juri said...

Bill Khemski asks about other books written by Jerry Powell. I think he wrote some Nick Carters. He'd written short stories earlier, like western stories for the last pulps, à la Ranch Romances.

And welcome back!

Jack J said...

Heyyyy what took ya so long!! xD.

Welcome back. This is a multo cool'o blog!!