A Levon Cade Thriller
By Chuck Dixon
Rough Edge Press
In the tradition of the great Lee Falk, creator of the
Phantom cartoon strip, “for those of us who came in late.” Chuck Dixon, one of
the top comic book scripters in the country, started writing a series of
vigilante thrillers featuring an ex-marine named Levon Cade. We were only
vaguely aware of the paperbacks but hadn’t had to the opportunity to check them
out until several years ago when the author surprised us with a copy of book #
8, “Levon’s Home.” We devoured it. Reviewed it and then when # 9, “Levon’s
Hunt” came out we picked it up fast.
So let’s backtrack a little here from what we’ve picked up
so far. Cade, after his time with the Marines, was recruited by a secret
government organization, given more intense training; both mental and physical
and became an assassin for Uncle Sam. Somewhere in all this, he’d married and
had a daughter named Merry. When his wife died, Cade and Merry went to live in
countryside with his Uncle Fern. Then things with his job went south and for a
while he was himself hunted by the government. Dealing with information he’d
accumulated during past missions, Cade made peace with his former employees and
now does his best to live a peaceful life in those Alabama hills.
Of course our reader’s curiosity wanted to play catch up and
tried picking up book # 1 from Amazon only to learn it is only available on
Kindle. (Sorry, we don’t do digital. Reading
is a pleasure best enjoyed with a real book in one’s hands while reclining in a
comfy chair and enjoying either coffee or beer.) Whereas the oldest volume
still in print form was # 7, “Levon’s Time.” Which brings us to this review. It
begins with our hero in Turkey
where, because of a noble unselfish act, he finds himself locked up in a
hellish Turkish prison (thus the title) located on the coast of the Black Sea. Cut off from any official contacts or help,
Cade’s options are limited as to his continued survival.
Meanwhile back home, a twelve year old Merry gets into her
own kind of mischief when she and a friend rescue a young Guatemalan girl from
two cruel and sadistic sex traffickers. When they bring the girl back to Uncle
Fern’s farm, they set of a chain of events that puts all of them in danger.
Dixon’s fast easy prose switches back and forth from both plots smoothly and it is this quick pacing that drives us towards not one, but two action crammed climaxes. Not bad for one little slim paperback. With now having read three of the Levon Cade books, we’re hooked. In Cade, Dixon has created the ultimate American hero, a loyal, dedicated patriot whose love of God, country and family is unquestionable. Move over Rambo, there’s a new kid in the club.