Thursday, January 23, 2014

Butcher 02 - Come Watch Him Die

Come Watch Him Die
Butcher 02
by Stuart Jason (James Dockery)
Pinnacle Books 1971

from Spy Guys and Gals

"While a lethal but beautiful blonde stalks Bucher, he must find - and stop - a crazed chemist turned killer!"
"Once again Bucher is on the line...caught in a cross fire between his Mafia Masters and the undercover agents he now serves.  Butcher is wearing of trusting no one.  He allows himself to succumb to the softness of a woman - a devastating dame who plays the deadliest game in town."

The Butcher was the first series to capitalize on the success of the Executioner, and it's good to see an example of the genre before the style got fossilized.  And one thing the Butcher series has is style.

The Butcher is Bucher, a mafia hitman who quit and is now working for the mysterious government organization White Hat.  The Butcher is investigating a Nazi scientist's plot to replace politicians with exact doubles for the Mafia, while he is being stalked by mob killers looking to collect on a $1,000,000 bounty and a prostitute who believes only a man as manly as the Butcher can give her an orgasm.

Not much plot wise - the Butcher goes to a place, somebody tries to kill him, he kills them, he goes to the next place.  The situations are definitely quirkier than the Executioner - you won't see Mack Bolan fighting giant snakes.

The text is very stylized, often to the point of annoyance.  The Butcher shoots the gun out of someone's hand Saturday matinee cowboy style, and the narrator spends the next several pages in a cartoon drawl.  The gangsters all speak in a weird patois of Jersey tough guy, hippie, and beatnik, with "a-roonie" suffixing half the dialogue.  But it's all worth it for gems of pure nastiness like this:

"Blow-John made his hits with a blowtorch when practible; said he liked to hear 'em scream because it shushed a funny noise inside his head.  Snyder Key preferred a carpenter's ordinary brace and wood bit to bore angled holes in the helplessly bound mark's skull, pack the holes with cotton soaked in cigarette lighter fluid and fire up, listening to the hillbilly music of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and masturbating till the mark's brains boiled and popped his skull."

I think I'll be reading more of the Butcher.

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