Created, The Destroyer: The bestselling series you’ve never heard of…

Before Jack Reacher. Before Jason Bourne. Before Alex Cross… There was The Destroyer. One legendary hero. One epic series.

Remo Williams is a former police officer who was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit and is now hours away from sitting in the electric chair. During his last rites Remo’s confessor gives him a black pill to bite down on exactly before he is electrocuted. Remo does as ordered but, instead of dying, he wakes up in an ambulance. He is still alive. Remo has been recruited by CURE, a secret government organization set up to defend the country outside the law. He is their new assassin: The Destroyer.

This is an interesting book. The premise, where Remo is saved from electrocution and then sent off to a secret organisation to become ‘The Destroyer’ intrigued me, but I found that a lot of the time I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. It’s a short, noirish, satirical take on the thriller genre and having been written in the 60s there are some cliched characters and some old-fashioned views – which in some ways, you can attribute to the satire, but sometimes it felt a bit dated. Being short (print length is <200 pages), I’m not sure how much I really got to know Remo, but I was quite entertained by him, and the fact that this is the first in a series of 145 (yes – 145!) titles, I think that he is set to become a great character who will surely develop more… The karate scenes with his trainer, Chiun, reminded me of The Karate Kid, and you can hardly fault that 😉 Overall opinion is that I enjoyed the book, it was different to the things that I usually read, and an interesting experiment to see if the stories have stood the test of time… well, only a new audience will be able to assess that. And maybe the upcoming Hollywood movie might help as it is definitely written in a way that would lend itself to the big screen… Sony have recently signed up Shane Black of Iron Man 3 fame to direct it. I wonder who’ll play the lead?

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Warren Murphy is a former newspaper writer and editor. After the Korean War he moved into politics and co-wrote Created, the Destroyer, the first title in The Destroyer series, with Richard Sapir in 1963. The series is composed of 145 titles and has now sold more than 60 million copies. Warren has served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America and has also been a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, the American Crime Writers League and the Screenwriters Guild. He is the screenwriter who gave Clint Eastwood the script of the Eiger Sanction.

Thanks to Clara Diaz at Little, Brown for the advance review copy and the invitation to be part of this blog tour.

You can check out the rest of the tour via the blogs below (click on the poster to enlarge):

Short Story Collection: Face Off #Review

To celebrate the 4th July – here’s a short story collection from The ITW featuring a whole host of thriller writers from the US (and more…)

From the blurb:

In this unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s favourite crime writers bring you original, co-written short stories featuring their much-loved series characters.

Edited by international bestseller David Baldacci, this exclusive page-turning collection is one of a kind. You’ll find stories featuring:

  • Lee Child’s Jack Reacher + Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller
  • Ian Rankin’s John Rebus + Peter James’ Roy Grace
  • Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch + Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie
  • Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme + John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport
  • Linwood Barclay’s Glen Garber Raymond Khoury’s Sean Reilly
  • Linda Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper + Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani
  • Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone + James Rollins’ Gray Pierce
  • Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren + MJ Rose’s Malachai Samuels
  • T. Jefferson Parker’s Joe Trona and John Lescroart’s Wyatt Hunt
  • Heather Graham’s Michael Quinn + F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack
  • Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child’s Aloysius Pendergast + R.L. Stine’s Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy

A couple of my favourites…

Rebus vs Grace

When a dying man confesses murder to Edinburgh’s Detective Inspector Rebus he has no choice but to enlist the help of Brighton’s finest, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, to investigate the murder of a rocker killed by a mod during the 1964 riots. Rankin and James’ lead detectives work well together, with a bit of friendly sparring and a combined investigative knowledge that leads to the unexpected revelation that the murdered man is not actually dead… with cameos from Rebus’s and Grace’s familiar sidekicks, this is a neatly plotted little tale penned by two of the UKs finest crime writers.

Barclay vs Khoury

In typical Barclay style, what starts off as an innocent trip for chicken nuggets ends up in a taut car chase, featuring a ten year old girl with attitude and one of the FBIs most wanted – a man with the means to destroy the world. Khoury’s FBI agent, Sean Reilly and Barclay’s most unlucky property developer, Glen Garber, are an unlikely yet perfectly matched pair in pursuit of the most important things in their own worlds. This short story moves at breakneck speed, seemingly covering an entire thriller novel in just enough pages to read with your bedtime cocoa.

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Thanks to Stephanie Melrose at Little, Brown for the advance copy and Amanda at  Simon & Schuster PR for the blog tour info.

About ITW:

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. For more information, visit: www.thrillerwriters.org.