Created, The Destroyer was originally published in 1971, the first in a macho men's action-thriller series that ran for well over a hundred volumes. And that's not counting a movie, TV pilot and several comic book adaptations. Sphere, bless 'em, are bringing the Destroyer back in style - part of an interesting recent trend that's seen some of the top-selling pulp series of the last century resurrected by major imprints. (See also: Titan with Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm and Helen MacInnes' thrillers, Mulholland with The Saint and Hard Case Crime's very existence.)
(As an aside: I love this trend, as I always feel weirdly sorry for forgotten bestsellers and, better yet, I really enjoy these books. But I'm curious why this is happening now. Structurally, there's presumably something about the aging of the rights and the perpetual quest for 'long tail' ebook content. But is there something socially as well? Are we looking to the 20th century for escapism? A simpler time where men where manly-men and women were womenly-women and the forces of evil were all clearly identified? To be discussed throughout this week.)
The titular Destroyer is Remo Williams - a Newark cop and ex-Marine who begins the book counting down the minutes until his execution. He's sitting on Death Row, convicted of killing a drug dealer and sentenced with undue speed and (seemingly) cruelty. As the dread hour approaches, Remo thinks back on his life and... wait, what's this?