Sunday, 11 December 2016
THE DETONATORS: A MATT HELM NOVEL BY DONALD HAMILTON
The Detonators: A Matt Helm Novel by Donald Hamilton
Matt Helm's history with women isn't as good as he'd hoped. They give him a hard time when he's dating them, and now Amy Bartlett is proving too prim and proper for their own good after her father is about to spend time in jail for drugs offences - she wants to set him free, but Matt wants the whole story and doesn't buy the fact she says she's prim - she must have some vices, surely.
Normally, Matt doesn't do favours for anyone, but when Doug Bartlett, the man accused of having a boat full of drugs asks him to look after his daughter, he can't refuse as the guy once saved his life. Doug's wife is no longer around, but the damage has already been done; she has taken the time out to poison her own daughter against him and now Amy believes he's the worst kind of father around. She's still come to see him and maybe he can tell her the truth behind all his exploits. Then again, there could be those who want him dead.
Unofficially, Doug was an agent and Matt wants to find out why he was retired when he was pretty good at what he did. Amy can't see beyond what her mother told her since she was young, and that annoys him to the point where he's trying to tell her he wasn't the evil man she's been led to believe.
When the authorities release him, Matt thinks things will pick up for Amy and her father, but Doug changes his mind, taking off on his boat. This seems out of character for Doug and from the information about the sudden retirement, Doug had taken several blows to the head that could make him irrational, but there is no real documented reason for putting him out to pasture. Someone decided to get rid of him for good when his boat explodes and leaves both Amy and Matt wondering why it happened.
Matt has his hands full with Amy as she isn't what he originally thought, she's intelligent and finds Matt a hindrance to what she wants as he has a vested interest in having justice done for a friend. Matt has to also see her right as far as the amount of money her father left - that he would want it to go to her rather than a charity, or the IRS.
The story takes Matt and Amy from Miami to the Bahamas where he might not like what he sees. Like Ian Fleming's Bond novels, Donald Hamilton has created several of his own books of secret agent stories that are of the moment with sophisticated language, many adversaries and lusty overtones readers will like.