“Created: The Destroyer” by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir (Sphere)

MurphyW-D01-CreatedTheDestroyerUKLong-running, mega-selling pulp thriller series makes it over to the UK

One legendary hero. One epic series.Sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, ex-cop Remo Williams is rescued from the electric chair at the eleventh hour and recruited by a secret government organisation named CURE. From this moment, he ceases to officially exist.From now on, he will be an assassin, targeting criminals who are beyond the law. Remo’s trainer is a grouchy old Korean named Chiun, whose mastery of the terrifyingly powerful martial art of Sinanju makes him the deadliest man alive.Together Remo and Chiun set forth on their epic, impossible mission to vanquish every enemy of democracy – every bad guy who thinks they can escape justice.This is a new era in man’s fight against the forces of evil.This is the time of the Destroyer.

According to the press release, this series (which clocks in at 50 books!) has sold more than 50 million copies. That’s pretty impressive. First published in 1971, Created: The Destroyer is an interesting first book in an early government assassin thriller series. A literary ancestor of Vince Flynn et al, the novel was interesting and, sadly, disappointing. Continue reading

Upcoming: “The Dark Blood of Poppies” by Freda Warrington (Titan)

Warrington-BW3-DarkBloodOfPoppiesI’m intrigued by Freda Warrington’s Blood Wine series. It was first released near the height of the vampire vogue – authors such as Anne Rice had established the genre as far more varied and ambitious that mere heaving bosoms and strained bodices. This year, Titan Books began re-issuing the series, which started with A Taste of Blood Wine (A Dance in Blood Velvet is due to hit shelves in October 2013). Last week, this cover for the third novel in the series was unveiled. And it’s another stunning, attention-grabbing one, too.

Here’s the original synopsis, from the 1996 edition (which I nabbed from the author’s website) – I don’t know if Titan will be changing it for their 2014 edition, but I assume it won’t be too different:

The ballerina Violette Lenoir has fallen victim to the bite of the vampire Charlotte. Her fire and energy have fuelled a terrifying change and a dreadful realisation; that Violette has become Lilith, the demon mother of all vampires.

Haunted both by what she has done and by Violette’s dark sensuality, Charlotte and her immortal lover Karl are drawn towards the dancer and the terrible destiny that has fallen on her shoulders.

But other, far more dangerous shadows are gathering around Violette. To the vampire Sebastian and to the dark heirs of Kristian, she threatens to wreak havoc with their plans to bring all of mankind under their dark wings.

Innocently embroiled in the endgame, courtesan extraordinaire Robyn Stafford finally meets her match as she is torn between the two ultimate lovers: Sebastian, and Violette …

As someone pointed out on Twitter, that is a very Black Metal cover – everything from the title to the model’s make-up does remind me of band photos from Terrorizer and Metal Hammer… It also has a smidgeon of Black Swan in there (ok, a fair bit…). I’m intrigued to read this series, and luckily I have the first book on my tottering TBR Mountain. I’ll hopefully get to it at some point in the not-too-distant future.

The Dark Blood of Poppies is due to be published by Titan Books in April 2014. A new, fourth novel in the series – The Dark Arts of Blood – is also meant to be coming out next year (October).