Monday, 1 September 2014

Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

Review by The Mole

Remo Williams is sat on death row, convicted of a crime of which he pleads his innocence. Ex-marine and ex-cop he is just hours away from his execution, denied the right to appeal and with the case and sentence processed with the speed of a runaway train, when he is visited by a monk. The monk is rather strange and quietly offers to save his life if he just takes a pill at the time of his execution. With nothing to lose he finds himself officially dead and having been recruited by CURE - a top secret organisation whose role is to defeat organised crime but cannot get near enough to it to succeed. Is Remo really committed to CURE or will he cut and run at the first opportunity and if he stays why should he have more success than those that have gone before - and died.

CURE is an agency that doesn't exist and it's operatives are recruited for life because if they want leave or are no longer of use then they are... well you get the picture. This concept is now a common-place premise that is a feature of tongue in cheek action adventure as much as it was then.

What is not to love about this book? But let's rewind 51 years - yes I was just a puppy when the co-authors first created Created and it took 8 years for them to find a publisher. But when it was published... 60 million copies were sold world wide and 145 titles comprised the series - massive success and, although I was 16 at first publication, I have never heard of it before. I suppose this underlines that 43 years later there is still an audience out there for Remo Williams.

Violence abounds, particularly towards the end of the story but in a way I found totally acceptable and while some of the characters met a particularly gruesome end it was not dwelt on too heavily. With 144 volumes following on from this one it is rather obvious to the modern reader that Remo will live to fight another day but clearly, by the same evidence, the fight is not over yet either.

In modern literature we get inside the character of "the hero" and get to understand all their character nuances but in this kind of series we don't do that - it leaves it open for the character to change and do the unexpected. Anyone old enough will remember Callan of about the same time and while we all wanted Callan to win - and were never disappointed - we certainly didn't want to "get inside" his head!

This series is now being released in batches by Little, Brown Book Group so there's no need to be waiting for the next in the series.

Publisher - Little, Brown Book Group
Genre - Crime, Thriller

1 comment:

  1. Ah...Remo Williams,aka The Destroyer. I never connected the movie Remo Willliams: The Adventure Begins (1986) with The Destroyer until one day I was going through some old paperback books left behind by a room mate and noticed down at the bottom of one it said something about Remo Williams. Remo Williams?? Wait, didn't I just see a movie called that? What's this "The Destroyer" thing?

    I think it was book 7 (Union Bust) that I picked up and started reading. Whoa! Action and humor, what more could I ask for. I found myself on a life long quest to find every book. (and finally succeeded)

    My suggestion, reading anything after book 3 (Chinese Puzzle) is the easiest way to get hooked, since that's when they really found their groove and everything clicked, then you find yourself more interested in learning about Remo's beginning and going back to book 1 and 2 have more meaning. These books (especially those up to 100 or so) are a quick light read that I typically finished within a day or 2 since once you get to chapter 2 and the words "His name was Remo..." hits you, you just want to keep turning pages.

    If you associate these with the likes of The Executioner - don't. The mix of humor, satire, action and yes, even sex, set these into a class of their own.