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The Penetrator #41: Hell’s Hostages

The Penetrator #41: Hell’s Hostages by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1981
Price I paid: 50¢

Mark Hardin takes on one of the most explosive challenges of his career―on foreign turf. Crazed rebel students, under the banner of the self-styled prophet Ayatollah Kohbali, have gone wild and imprisoned a staff of American diplomats in the consulate―an impenetrable compound.

A mysterious KGB agent―in skirts―is taking orders from the Kremlin and passing them on to the rebels. Somehow, she’s always one step ahead of the Penetrator and his special team of trained fighters―and Hardin smells a rat.

He’s got to figure out―and fast―how to match sharp wits against raw violence if he’s ever going to break through the wave of Muslim madness!

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The Penetrator #24: Cryogenic Nightmare

The Penetrator #24: Cryogenic Nightmare by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1978
Price I paid: $1.50

Preacher Mann is too much for the FBI and the CIA. He has dual citizenship and friends in diplomatic circles and he’s too powerful for the regular legal channels. He’s come a long way: from a pimp in Harlem he’s worked his way to the top―of the rackets. He’s into international dope, espionage―and now, in his orgy palace off the Florida coast he’s onto a new wrinkle!

The most beautiful women in the country are systematically vanishing. And Preacher Mann is holding them on ice―literally. He’s freezing them until needed―to be shipped to the highest bidder.

Only one man can defrost the situation―the Penetrator. He must succeed where others have failed. One man on a mission that’s too cool to handle!

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NYPD 2025

nypd-2025NYPD 2025 by Hal Stryker
Pinnacle Books, 1985
Price I paid: 90¢

IN A WORLD OF THE NEAR FUTURE,
WHERE DECENT PEOPLE LIVE IN FEAR,
WHERE JUSTICE IS DYING AND
THE LAW PROTECTS THE GUILTY―
THE COMBAT OPERATIONS POLICE COME ROARING IN!

The bleeding heart lawmakers have taken lethal weapons out of the hands of the law enforcers―and in the world’s largest city criminals are on a perpetual holiday. Rape, murder, robbery, and sabotage are the order of the day. The answer:

COP
COMBAT OPERATIONS POLICE

A special enforcement unit made up of the toughest, bravest, and most cunning street-smart fighting men, using the best in weaponry―including Andy Jumbles, an android, indestructable against bullet, dynamite, or laser. They are heading right into the deadly shadows of Manhattan to stomp the human trash that rules the dark―and give the city back to its people!

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Hook #1: Whirlpool of Stars

whirlpool-of-starsHook #1: Whirlpool of Stars
Pinnacle Books, 1974
Price I paid: 75¢

The century is 10,000, Earth dating. The boundaries of the world as we know it have expanded beyond belief, beyond thought. Earth still remains―but as one of many planets throughout the galaxies, where myriad life forms exist.

Life has taken a new direction, to a new future, but there are still problems to overcome―and the same struggle for survival.

And Ryder Hook is just one Earthman who is equally at home on a starship, on an alien planet, and on Earth. But he has been singled out for a purpose―to take place in a singular experiment…

This is the first novel in a spellbinding new science-adventure series about a superhuman warrior of the future. Ryder Hook travels through the cosmos as a master of all he encounters. He is a man of supreme adventure, timeless in his fearless conquering spirit! Watch for further books in the action-packed saga of Ryder Hook!

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The Penetrator #4: Hijacking Manhattan

penetrator-4The Penetrator #4: Hijacking Manhattan by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1974
Price I paid: $1.50

Mark Hardin…

…is prepared for trouble in New York City, but he’d hoped to arrive in time to prevent it. The first subway station blew up while he was still en route from California, piloting a sleek new twin-engine plane. It was fast, but not fast enough to get him there in time to stop the 72nd Street IRT station from caving in, carrying a large section of Broadway with it.

A Third World group, an alliance of Afro-Asian students, the Eusi Dhahabu, has been formed in Harlem. It says that they are working for racial equality, but they are asking for money. Lots of it. Exactly two million dollars in unmarked, used twenty-dollar bills. If they do not get the cash promptly, twelve more subway stations will go. During rush hours. With thousands of people in them.

Responsible blacks cannot infiltrate the group. They have tried. How, then, can the Penetrator? Honkies stand out in Harlem. Somehow Hardin must reach back into his Indian past for a disguise that will work…and fast. There are forty-two subway stations in New York City, and time is running out.

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The Penetrator #35: Black Massacre

The Penetrator 35The Penetrator #35: Black Massacre by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1980
Price I paid: $1.50

Alarmed over the increasing number of mysterious deaths among the black population, the Penetrator rushes to Indianapolis, where he learns that a strange epidemic of sickle cell anemia is sweeping the country.

Then, hearing that a similar situation is occurring in Puerto Rico, Mark Hardin flies to San Juan…and finds out that a deranged toxicologist has developed a secret formula that triggers the fatal disease…an invisible death spray to infect those susceptible, killing them one by one…

It’s a race against the clock as the Penetrator searches for the insane scientist responsible for dealing sudden death to the blacks, and discovers the shocking reason for his deadly revenge…

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Weeping May Tarry

Weeping May TarryWeeping May Tarry by Raymond F. Jones and Lester del Rey
Pinnacle Books, 1978
Price I paid: 75¢

The landing was unlike any they had ever made. But then they had never before seen a planet so strange as this one—with its wild seas, scarred plains, and rubbled cities. It looked as if it had been totally devastated by some type of nuclear destruction.

And they were most curious—these aliens with their green-scaled faces and stubby tails—to explore this peculiar place where man had once existed…until their ship exploded and they were stranded with no means of survival and no hope of rescue.

Unless their high priest—Ama of the Keelong—prayed to the higher power they had rebelled against. For this was a spiritual mission…and the Alcoran had lost their way…

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The Executioner #32: Tennessee Smash

The Executioner 32The Executioner #32: Tennessee Smash by Don Pendleton
Pinnacle Books, 1978
Price I paid: none

That familiar byline on millions of copies of Executioner novels has now become a guarantee of the most exciting writing in a whole new category of hard-hitting adventure fiction.

Don Pendleton had written more than thirty books before writing the first book in the Executioner series, War Against the Mafia, a few years ago. That was the start of what is now America’s hottest action series. With thirty-two volumes complete and three more on the drawing board, Don has little time for writing anything but Executioner books. Each book is written in about six weeks as Don simultaneously gathers and directs the research for upcoming adventures.

A much-decorated veteran of World War II, Don saw action in the North Atlantic U-boat wars, the invasion of North Africa, and the assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He later led a team of naval scouts, who landed in Tokyo preparatory to the Japanese surrender. As if that weren’t enough, he went back for more in Korea, too!

Before turning to full-time duty at the typewriter, Don held down positions as a railroad telegrapher, air traffic controller, aeronautical systems engineer, and even had a hand in the early ICBM and Moonshot programs.

He’s the father of six and now makes his home in a small town in Indiana. He does his writing amidst a unique collection of weapons, photos, and books—usually half-buried in research, news clippings, and maps. Whether it’s Boston, Cleveland, or Nashville, you’ll get the feeling Don and Mack were there.

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The Penetrator #1: The Target is H

The Penetrator 1The Penetrator #1: The Target is H by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1973
Price I paid: 50¢

MARK HARDIN…

The Penetrator. He’d learned how in Vietnam. Infiltrate the enemy’s position, determine the plan of action and then strike swiftly, taking out as many key men as possible, wreaking destruction, leaving chaos in your wake.

Now he was in Los Angeles, engaged in a new, far more sinister war. But he was fully prepared and totally committed, and bound by no rules but his own.

He is tall and slim, reflecting his unique Indian-Welsh background. His driver’s licence indicates his age is twenty-eight. If he seems a bit grim, it is for good reason.

He was orphaned at four, when his parents and three brothers and sisters were killed in an automobile crash. Since then he’s been mistreated, brutalized by life, injured in games (football), and wounded in combat. But he’s survived. Mark Hardin is tough, a survivor. And an expert. Marksmanship, karate, aikido, and even the crossbow, are part of his arsenal.

He is a new breed of warrior—without uniform, without rank—dedicated to the American way of life, and pledged to fight anyone who seeks to destroy it. On either side of the law. That’s why he’s in Los Angeles. Just the beginning of a long and lonely series of brushfire wars.

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The Penetrator #21: The Supergun Mission

The Penetrator 21The Penetrator #21: The Supergun Mission by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1977
Price I paid: $1.50

It started with the smuggling of Mexican “wetbacks” for slave labor in the U.S. They were brought to an island in Lake Texoma, north of Dallas, to work on a top-secret operation directed by H.H. Christiansen…and were forbidden to leave. But it wasn’t until twenty-five Mexicans died in a mysterious tank truck fire that the Penetrator was called in. That’s when this simple smuggling assignment turned into a national security threat.

The project is the development of a sonic gun—the ultimate weapon—which causes the human body to explode from internal pressure, turning flesh and bone to jelly. The Cubans, the Albanians, and the Red Chinese are in on the buy. But the scientists working on the project are in need of a guinea pig—and Mark Hardin, the Penetrator, is just what the doctors ordered…

He has only one shot—to destroy the supergun before it annihilates him and all of the free world.

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