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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The Penetrator #18: Countdown to Terror

The Penetrator #18: Countdown to Terror by Lionel DerrickThe Penetrator 18
Pinnacle Books, 1976
Price I paid: 60¢

The message: “Liberty for Puerto Rico or death to all Gringos. Viva el F.A.L.N.” The terrorist tactics of the Fuezas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional Puerto Riquena were being stepped up.

The bombings would increase each day, culminating in the big blast, Operation Luz. Racing against the clock, Mark Hardin stalks the streets of Spanish Harlem—his quarry, El Chico, ruthless leader of the fanatic F.A.L.N. Each step brings him closer to the creations of this time table of death and destruction. One by one, he manages to pick off the terrorist troops, slowly decimating their forces and equalizing the kill count of bombing victims.

But the deadline for Operation Luz is explosively near. Seconds ticking away like tiny bombs…


This is the eighteenth book in the Penetrator Series. The police blotters of cities across the nation and even as far away as Japan contain evidence of Mark Hardin’s handiwork—the deaths of corrupt hogs at the public table, deaths of men who kill, maim, or cause suffering among the innocent. The Penetrator is a warrior without uniform or rank, pledged to fight anyone—on either side of the law—who seeks to weaken or destroy the American way of life. Follow the Penetrator as he travels from place to place, leaving his personal symbol of retribution, a chipped blue flint arrowhead, on the bodies of society’s deadliest enemies.

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The Penetrator #49: Satan’s Swarm

The Penetrator #49: Satan’s Swarm by Lionel DerrickThe Penetrator 49 front
Pinnacle Books, 1982
Price I paid: 60¢

When a group of international terrorists releases Dr. Raymond Barr from a hospital for the criminally insane, the Penetrator springs into action. Dr. Barr, aside from being insane, is a brilliant scientist—a very dangerous combination. With the mad doctor on the loose, no one is safe.

Taken by his rescuers to a secret laboratory in Nicaragua, the doctor’s twisted talents are employed by Colonel Po Hahn Chau, who is breeding new strains of abnormally large, highly-aggressive insects. The colonel’s plan is to develop an insect army, a living weapon which could bring the world to its knees.

The Penetrator has to smash this plot before the colonel’s plague is loosed on the world—and before he becomes the swarm’s first victim.

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The Penetrator #38: Hawaiian Trackdown

The Penetrator #38: Hawaiian Trackdown by Lionel DerrickThe Penetrator 38 front
Pinnacle Books, 1980
Price I paid: 60¢

Big men are making big money off little children, and the Penetrator has found an explosive new cause!

From the sleepy suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, to the smut-ridden streets of Hollywood, and over to the island paradise of Hawaii, Mark Hardin draws his deadly leash tighter and tighter around a vicious pornography ring bent on the sexploitation of innocent children.

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The Penetrator #11: Terror in Taos

The Penetrator #11: Terror in Taos by Lionel DerrickThe Penetrator 11 front
Pinnacle Books, 1975
Price I paid: 60¢

Mark Hardin is known to his enemies as The Penetrator. He penetrates in several ways: by fighting his way in, by easing in…or by dropping in via parachute.

He’s half-Cheyenne and half-Welsh. In quest of his warrior heritage, Mark Hardin has learned Indian skills: to track a man, but to not leave tracks; to use a crossbow, a garrote, a spear, a knife; to live on the land; to speak his native tongue.

As a child he grew up in orphanages, boarding schools, and foster homes. He’s seen all sides of life. He knows it is too often evil, and it has become his mission to eradicate crime and lawlessness in any way he can. His ancestors bequeathed him special knowledge in these things.

Now, as he dropped through the air, scanning the desert for David Red Eagle’s smoke signal, his mind flashed back to similar jumps in Vietnam. Another time, another enemy. In the fetid rice paddies and rubbled hamlets the enemy had a yellow skin and slanted eyes. Today Hardin would be fighting foes of his own kind, men of white skin and red skin.

It all started with the theft of some valuable turquoise and silver relics and the murder of an Indian holy man. It would accelerate with the entry of militant young indians, State Troopers, the National Guard…and the Mafia.

It would climax in a desert bloodbath!

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Civil War II

Civil War II by Dan BritainCivil War II front
Pinnacle Books, 1971
Price I paid: $1 + S&H

“Well, my adjutant just completed a nationwide inspection of the militia. They seem ready, but I’m still a bit concerned about the discipline,” Harvey said. “They’re eager young bucks, and they’ve been penned up a long time. I just hope we don’t have a blood orgy.”

“I’ll vouch for the readiness of the militia,” Abe Williams said quickly. “I’ve been in constant contact. They are ready. The only loose ends we have are political, and that we can work out by ear…”

“And my boys have been waiting for a month,” Ritter reported. “We’re gonna jerk old whitey apart at the seams! We’re zeroed in on air traffic control, gas mains, water supply, power plants, communications, the whole damn—”

“Great! Then I see no reason to change the battle order,” General Bogan declared. “We hit tonight!”

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The Feminists

The Feminists by Parley J. CooperThe Feminists front
Pinnacle Books, 1971
Price I paid: $15

THE STORY THAT HAD TO BE WRITTEN—SO TIMELY, SO FRIGHTENINGLY POSSIBLE, YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT’S FICTION!

Take a look into the future…women now rule the world—or most of what’s left of it—and their world is not a pretty place to live in. Men have been reduced to mere chattel, good only for procreation. THE FEMINISTS are working to eliminate even this strictly male function…

Men must get permission to make love to any female—even if she is willing—or the penalty is death!

Follow one man’s story as he is hunted for just such a crime. In desperation, he stumbles upon the hide-out of the subterranean people—others, like himself—both male and female—who have broken the law of THE FEMINISTS. Hiding in abandoned subway undergrounds, this group of gallant and desperate people wage a guerilla war to overthrow their enslavers.

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The Penetrator #9: Dodge City Bombers

The Penetrator #9: Dodge City Bombers by Lionel DerrickThe Penetrator 9 front
Pinnacle Books, 1975
Price I paid: 75¢

It was always a tactical advantage to know the enemy’s intended route of march, in addition to his identity. The Penetrator knew the Shadowmen were moving their operations into the Dodge City area. After the pasting they had taken near Liberal, the Penetrator was certain they wouldn’t make any further attacks until they had regrouped.

But who were the Shadowmen? Those who had seen them described them as younger Hell’s Angels without the bikes, unsavory clothing, and bizarre rituals. But they were every bit as violent—and ambitious for anything that could make money. The big question was who was behind their vicious swath of destruction, and why?

Only the Penetrator had the guts and cunning to get to the heart of the terrorist gang and ruthlessly wrench it out.

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