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Book Review--> The Destroyer #1- Created The Destroyer by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

 Created The Destroyer
Title and Author: Created The Destroyer by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir
Print Length: 187 Pages
Series: The Destroyer #1
Publication Date: 1971
Language: English
Genre: Action, Thriller, Adventure, Spy, Speculative Fiction

Blurb:

When ex-New Jersey cop Remo Williams is electrocuted for the murder of a dope-dealing goon, CURE, a super-secret government agency that doesn't really exist, schemes to resurrect Remo as the ultimate killing machine that will carry out most of its dirty plans. Under the direction of expert assassin Master Chiun, Remo is transformed into the Destroyer and launches a series of secret plots to dissolve the underworld.

Book Review:

The Destroyer series is the bestselling series of over 150 books and with over 50 million copies sold worldwide, it continues to charm readers. Created The Destroyer is the first book in the series and features the ex-cop, Remo Williams. Remo is a cop who is very good at his job. Falsely accused, he is sentenced to be electrocuted but in a well planned series of events is saved by a secret government organization CURE for the explicit purpose of training him become the ultimate mercenary, the Destroyer. He is to cure the American streets from the ruin caused by criminals too smart to be caught by the police and too influential to be touched by the justice system.

Soon Remo is "a man who doesn't exist, for a job that doesn't exist, in an organization that doesn't exist."

I loved the cover of the new version of the book. It is mysterious and intriguing. The blurb is also very interesting and made me say yes to review this book. :)

The book started off so beautifully. I was caught in all the action going on and Remo's thoughts while he awaited the chair. The sequence of events that take him to the secret organization are so expertly described that I could not help feeling impressed with the writing style. It is different, more descriptive and made Remo seem so much more human and connected to me. But all this changed when he reached the secret location of CURE. The writing style takes a dip and becomes  monotonous and somewhat boring. While Remo was expressive in the first part, he becomes a distant figure with a third voice and I could not connect with his transformation from a normal, hardworking cop to the hard, cold, conscienceless Destroyer.

The reason why people are working with CURE is understandable in case of Smith, the chief, who is a patriot but not fully understandable in case of McLeary or Remo or others who do not feel so keenly towards their country. The characters are not developed to their full potential. The old Korean teacher, Chiun is also not introduced too well. He teaches and transforms Remo but is still not the leader that he should have been. I kept comparing him to the teacher in the Karate Kid movie and he just fell short.

The story is well conceived and plot moves briskly in the beginning and then lags a bit in the middle and then again takes up pace at the end. The action sequences, the satire on the current situations, the conspiracies that are happening are all described like a real picture and I could visualize the situations as they would have been in 1970s.

Remo's first assignment to find Maxwell who maybe a man or an organization, thrilled me and I waited to see what would happen next. Remo's actions impressed me as well as conflict ed with my sense of right and wrong. While he is very well trained and is more than capable to fighting but his plan of using the young daughter of his enemy and his absence of guilt in making her believe that he loves her and then taking her virginity warred with my hero worship for Remo.

I just could not make up my mind if I liked him or hated him. The Remo is the first part of the book I liked but the cold, hard mercenary in the second part I didn't quite like and will hold my final judgement until I read the other books in the series. The villains are people you can easily hate. Not given much depth, they come and go.

All in all, this is a book that will appeal to all action lovers with lots of fighting, ruthless killing and mercenary type missions with no guilt trip for killing people without reason. I give Created The Destroyer 3.5 out of 5. A 200 pages book, this is a quick read and will entertain you on a quiet afternoon. I look forward to reading the next books in this legendary series to know Remo better. :)

I received the copy of the book from Little Brown Book Group and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


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Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy is the first title in The Destroyer series, published by Sphere. If you want to know more about the series please visit the website. You can also sign up to the Destroyer newsletter here.

2 comments:

  1. The books didn't really hit their stride until the third one, Chinese Puzzle. The first two don't have the humor and sometimes bizarre plots. Chiun is a karate instructor instead of the egotistical, imperious, carping, worshiper of soap operas and Barbra Streisand Master of Sinanju of the rest of the series. Warren Murphy and Dick Sapir had realized by then that continuously taking on mercenaries, organized crime, etc. could soon become very boring, so they branched out to things like a sentient computer program designed to make profit, an android whose main goal is survival, and Chiun's villainous nephew, Nuihc.

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  2. Agreed that the true seeds of the relationship with Remo and Chiun didn't start to sprout until # 3 Chinese Puzzle. I think Sapir and Murphy may originally have intended to use Chuin as more of a throw-away character, using Remo more as a highly skilled spy, but somehow (and thankfully) a great potential was realized, separating The Destroyer (a title probably developed by the first publisher) from the other men's action/adventure books.

    Almost all of the first 100 are gems, making fun of (and sometimes killing) the media, politico, and the politically correct. Some of the later ones were ghost written after the death of Richard Ben Sapir, by Will Murray (a good fellow but never thought he quite "got" Remo) and James Mullaney, an improvement over Murray.

    From one perspective it is a series about a black-ops organization circumventing the U.S. Constitution in order to save America, but from another it is a story about the love of father for son, and son for father, albeit adopted.

    There has been a relaunch of the series, controlled by the surviving Warren Murphy, addressing some of the complaints of the fans for the ghost writing issues. I have read most of them and the do seem more true, and apparently intended to ignore the stories that were out of canon.

    With many of the older books online at Amazon for $2.99, it's a cheap way to stock up on fun reading for trips, vacations, or winding down before bed.

    For everyone? No. But like one, and you'll probably like them all.

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