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Matt Helm Books In Order

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Publication Order of Matt Helm Books

Death of a Citizen (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wrecking Crew (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Removers (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silencers (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murderers' Row (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ambushers (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shadowers (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ravagers (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devastators (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Betrayers (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Menacers (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Interlopers (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Poisoners (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Intriguers (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Intimidators (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Terminators (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Retaliators (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Terrorizers (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Revengers (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Annihilators (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Infiltrators (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Detonators (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vanishers (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Demolishers (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Frighteners (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Threateners (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Damagers (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon

Matt Helm is the main character in spy thriller novels written by American best-selling Donald Hamilton. Helm is depicted a United States government counter- agent- and his task to take care of enemy agent by all means possible. The novels were published is published between 1960 and 1993, and the 27 books in the series portray Helm as ruthless, Jaded, competent and pragmatic. The series was highly noted for it is between books continuity which was rare for the genre. The main character’s origins as a man of action during the world war II vanished, and he became the ageless person, a common fate of long running fictional heroes.

Death of a Citizen, the first novel in the series, takes place in the summer of 1958, a decade after the ceasefire of the war. Other characters often refer Helm as being soft and out of shape and being the incipient of the middle age even though no specific age is given to him. The second novel takes place in the summer of 1959, an adversary agent from a rival American spy organization haunts Helm. Later in the book, Helm describes himself as a 36-year-old man. An author named Hayford Peirce investigated the issue of Helm’s age and discovered that this figure could be probably wrong concerning the information is given in the first novel of the series, Death of a Citizen. The author concluded that Helm was indeed a couple of years older than age mentioned in The Wrecking Crew and that he was possibly born in 1918. However, the age issue vanishes entirely in The Betrayers, the tenth novel in the series.

The Columbia Pictures acquired the rights to adapt eight Malt Helm novels into movies in 1965. The series featured Dean Martin, and the series was produced by Irving Allen, a former partner of James Albert R. Cubby. The films used Matt Helm, book titles, the cover identity but had very loose plot elements. The series had no resemblance to the main character, atmosphere or the themes of Donald Hamilton original novels. Later a 1970’s television series Matt Helm which featured Tony Franciosa as the main character, Helm- a former spy turned a private detective. Unfortunately, the series did not feature themes from the original novels and was thus unsuccessful.

Death of a Citizen

Death of a Citizen, the first book in Matt Helm series was published in 1960, at the peak of cold war between the soviet union and the united states. The story introduces a man named Matt Helm- a secret operative on the order of James Bond but without the English mannerisms and all the gadgets. It is revealed that during the world war II that he belonged to a super secret group of assassins/gadgets headed by a guy named Mac, and as soon as the war was over, he deserted that kind of life and became a private citizen. By 1960, he had already established himself as a father, husband, and writer residing Santa Fe, New Mexico.

One night, Matt and his wife attend a cocktail celebration in Santa Fe, and Matt is surprised to see a lady named Tina who was an operative during the war and who had been Matt loves following one of their assignments. She gives him an old secret handshake, but unfortunately, Matt denies to play along and does not acknowledge her. Tina has accompanied a rough guy who attempts to intimidate Matt, but he does not fall for that either.

Matt understands that Tina has recognized him and he reckons that she is in town on some assignment with the tough guy. He wonders whether their meeting was planned or just an accident. He later discovers the answer to his question when he heads back home and finds a woman shot dead in his study. The gun he hides in his study is also missing, and Matt understands that it must be the murder weapon and he has just been framed. Moreover, even before his former partner, Tina steps on his doorsteps he understands fully well that he has a choice; either cooperate with them or either take the fall for a crime he did not commit.

What follows next is an exciting story that follows as Matt attempts to save himself from the trap and just as expected, there is much action and also some discreetly described sex scenes. Furthermore, there are also some great twists and turns. The first novel in the series is a good read that will appeal to anyone who loves the type of pulpish men’s adventure stories which were very common five decades ago.

Wrecking Crew

In The Wrecking Crew, the second novel in the series, Matt continues his adventures as an assassin of unnamed organization within the United States headed by a man he only knows as Mac. This time he has received an assignment to bring down an elusive agent named Caselius. The only lead to this agent is a woman who might or might not be a double agent. She engages Helm under his cover as a photographer to do a story on the mining scenes of northern Sweden. Unfortunately, Matt’s cover is blown almost immediately as he is spotted by another woman as he arrives in Stockholm and now suspects anyone who comes off too friendly right away.

However, his only two advantages in this job are that he is rated as approaching over the hill by his trainers so that his enemies may give him slack or either he knows Swedish given his upbringing in Minnesota. The second novel in the series is a fast paced adventure narrative from Hamilton who is a master in plotting. The author nails the traveling across the Swedish landscape into the wilderness as Matt hunts down the rogue agent and as usual, Matt’s strong logic carries him through a series of a dangerous situation, contributed more so by the soft-headed politics. What you will love about the author of Matt Helm series is the ability to pick out pieces of another country and subsequently serve them up in choice bits with his hero in the midst.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Matt Helm

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