Thursday, February 11, 2016


(A Gabriel Hunt Novel)
By Nicholas Kaufman
Titan Books
269 pages

We recently participated in an on-line round table forum on how to avoid clichés when writing mystery fiction.  Webster’s defines the word as “…a hackneyed expression or idea.”  Hackneyed in that it has been repeated more time than anyone could ever count.  Which we suppose is what makes it a bad thing, this constant repetition. Whereas, unlike a single sentence or phrase, there are entire books that entirely one humungous cliché.  Case in point the classic pulp novels of the 30s and 40s and the current books and films  they in turned inspired.

Several years ago, publisher/writer Charles Ardai, applauded for bringing back the dark, gritty noir melodramas to the paperback world with his Hard Case Crime line, had the idea of launching a modern day Indiana Jones style series featuring a character named Gabriel Hunt.  Now in keeping with the Jones/pulp mold, Hunt is an archeologist who co-operates the Hunt Foundation with his brother Michael.  Whereas Gabriel is the adventurer, Michael is the desk jockey who sends him on his wild adventures around the globe seeking lost artifacts.  Ardai recruited a group of modern day pulpsters, all with established bonafides, to pen these fast paced actioners.

“Hunt at World’s End,” by Nicholas Kaufmann is one of the latest in this on-going series and everything in it is cliché; from the smart female archaeologist in distress to the ancient mysterious cult and the evil power hungry foreigner all vying to find three lost jewels that when brought together on the face of a lost idol will grant the person possessing them a fantastical power.  And so from Borneo to Turkey and finally the sands of the Sahara, Gabriel and his allies race against time to stop the dastardly villains from achieving success and thereby save the world.

There is absolutely nothing new in these pages but we still relished the book.  Like wearing a comfortable pair of slippers or a favorite lounge sweater, were delighted to have had the experience.  You see, dear readers, most of the best selling series of any kind have to fall back on tried and true elements which readers expect.  Sure, it is always nice to discover something new, fresh and original.   But trust me, in the world of fiction, that is all too rare and one soon comes to rely and enjoy those books done in a familiar style we come to appreciate over the years like good and trusty friends who will not let us down.  The Gabriel Hunt books are such pals and we easily recommend them.  “Hunt at World’s End” maintains their level of excellence with a fast paced narrative, colorful characters and exotic locales.  What more could a pulp fan want?

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