Monday, February 25, 2013

Done: "When the Killing Starts" by Ted Wood

Done: When the Killing Starts by Ted Wood, 1989, 0684183315.

There was a Forgotten Fridays entry for this a few weeks ago that was glowing.  Well, maybe not glowing but the book sounded pretty good and I am Bill Crider's dancing monkey for book recommendations.  I received this and the first in the series, Dead Water, at the same time.  This was pretty good.

Reid Bennett is on vacation in Toronto. His actress girlfriend is heading to the western plains to make a movie.  Reid gets a call asking him to help corral a wealthy wayward waif.  Rich kid Jason is not really a waif but that alliteration is worth the word.  Jason is a spoiled brat.  Jason's mother is asking Reid to find Jason and convince him to not stay with the mercenary group Jason has joined.  Vietnam vet Reid is tasked to find Jason and convince him to stay home and not head down to Central America.

Reid starts by looking for the mercenary group that recruited Jason.  Reid gets into a fight right away.  Reid's Super Dog rescues Reid.  Reid gets a line on the training camp location and heads into the northwoods boonies to find the mercenary training camp.  Reid finds Jason.  Reid tells Jason to return at night and they will sneak off and await the pre-scheduled pick-up by a bush plane.

Reid is found out.  Reid escapes death-by-mercenary when Reid's part time deputy George shows up, against orders, with Super Dog and rescues Reid.  Reid, George, Super Dog and Jason escape a forest fire set by the mercenaries to kill Reid and company.  They do this in opposition to Jason's recalcitrant and untrustworthy behavior. The forest fire chase was very well done by Wood.

During the rescue Reid finds out Jason's mom was not the woman Reid met.  Reid met the dad's girlfriend.  Reid goes after payment.  Jason's dad refuses a meeting but Reid perseveres and get s check.  That meeting is an obvious set-up but Reid does not see it happening.  Jason's mom's girlfriend is murdered.  Mercenaries are after Reid.  Jason's mom is raped and murdered.  Reid is set-up for the mom murder.

Things happen.  Toronto cops and Ontario Provinvial Police think Reid is a trigger happy, bloodthirsty killer.  Canadians still think Vietnam vets are prone to violence and killing.  Mercenaries go to Reid's town and try to kill George.  Reid shoots the merc shooter.  Reid catches another mercenary.  Reid gets no sleep during the hunt and excitement.  Reid gets lovey-dovey with his girlfriend as he recovers in the hospital.

1.  Two parts with rescue mission and a vengeful aftermath.  The revenge angle did not seem realistic.  I think the mercenaries would slough off the failure and keep going with work.  But, the mercenary leaders were also violent and petty men.  A subplot involving money and arms trading gave a bit of reason.
2.  Some very '80s themes like Central America revolutionaries, Vietnam vet angst, and Soldier of Fortune magazine.
3.  I wanted to stop reading and use a map to look up the Ontario and Quebec locations Wood writes about.
4.  .38 love.  Enfield SA80 love.  Shotgun love.  Attacking Super Dog love.
5.  Canoe love.  Fishing love.  Bush pilot love.
6.  Indians are considered untrustworthy and lazy by society at large.
7.  Looks like all these Bennett novels have been Kindleized.
8.  Does Wood still write?  I am not interested enough to start researching.

No comments: