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1992 paperback edition
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Frighteners|
|Followed by||The Damagers|
The Threateners is the title of a spy novel by Donald Hamilton first published in 1992. It was the twenty-sixth installment of the Matt Helm series, and saw the return of the character after a three-year hiatus.
Matt Helm (code name Eric) is assigned to kill a drug lord after the villain orders the murder of a journalist. But he doesn't kill the drug lord's dog - which is the centerpiece of moralizing on how the real problem is that there is demand for drugs, so why blame the supplier, since even the drug lord's dog is able to resist such temptations?
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The story starts in Santa Fe where Matt is trying to live a normal life with Jo Beckman from the previous novel "The Frighteners". At the beginning of the story Jo has left Matt because of his new hobby of shooting. One of the ladies from a previous novel "The Infiltrators" - Madeleine Ellershaw comes to visit Matt with a complaint that he's having her followed. Matt is being followed by the same kind of people.
Madeleine dies violently soon after her appearance. Matt's new friend Mark, who has introduced Matt to this kind of shooting sport, also dies soon after revealing that he was an author hunted by a South American drug lord for writing a book about the drug business. The drug lord puts up a price of one million dollars on his head.
After Mark's death Matt teams up, unwillingly, with his widow to go hunt up back up copies of Mark's second book. Some computer jargon and concepts are mentioned when the electronic copies of the book are mentioned and surprisingly Hamilton has managed to keep most of his facts accurate. (Other than calling a diskette a three-and-a-half-inch-by-three-and-a-half-inch which it's not). As usual nothing and nobody is as they seem or are expected.
As usual also, Matt undergoes torture and captivity and perils to his life. As usual, he comes up victorious, accomplishing his mission, saving the women and killing the bad guys. Hamilton doesn't deal in the Hollywood-hero-that-can-kill-a-hundred-black-hat-types and Matt is shown to have a better than average amount of brains, professional ruthlessness and courage and sense in balanced amounts.
In this book again Matt runs across fanatic world-savers and drug-crusaders with both gunning for his life. The story opens and ends in New Mexico, but the majority of it takes place in South America.
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