Saturday, September 27, 2014


Nick Carter #6: “Saigon” by Michael Avallone/Valerie Moolman.  Madame Claire La Forge, the widow of French intelligence agent La Petite Fleur, still cares for their plantation in North Vietnam, with her trusted bodyguard, Saito, a Japanese servant. When a French agent stumbles into her plantation, dying, he claims to have a hidden message for Intelligence, and she sends Saito to Saigon to contact the French Intelligence Service. Hawk is also notified, and with Nick Carter already in Vietnam disguised as a doctor with the World Health Organization, he is alerted to respond to the case. This was a topnotch Killmaster story. It appears there is some question about the authorship, however. Michael Avallone submitted “Saigon”, as the third story in the new series, but it was delayed until the sixth issue, with Valerie Moolman taking over the writing of the series from Avallone. “Run Spy, Run” was the first book in the series, and a good entry by Avallone, but his second story, “China Doll” was awful. I’m guessing that he was fired after “China Doll”, and “Saigon” was turned over to Valerie Moolman for rewrite. “Saigon” seems all hers, though she may have used Avallone’s original concept, but heavily rewrote the manuscript. Very little, if anything, seems to remain of Avallone’s writing in this one.

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