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The Shadowers by Donald Hamilton

The Shadowers (1964)

by Donald Hamilton

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1964 saw the release of book 7 in the Matt Helm series, a tough, battle-hardened spy assigned to a secret hit squad. In this novel, someone is shadowing American scientists and Helm is assigned to protect a female scientist. As his cover, he is to marry her. Unlike other Helm stories, however, it is not to be a phoney sham marriage, but the real thing, legal and consummated, so no one can suspect who he really is. The meat of this story is about Helm's interactions with his new wife, a rank amateur at this business, and his interactions with other amateurs that somehow get roped into it. At the forefront is Helm's suspicious nature and how he deals with each of the people he suspects could be working against him. There is a cat and mouse game with a vicious enemy and a final showdown. But, most of the book develops the relationships and suspicions rather than being an all-out action festival. This is as solid and hardboiled and cynical as a spy story can get. At his best, no one could write these stories better than Hamilton.
( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Not my favorite in the series, but still a good book. Helm is married to a woman so he can protect her from assassination. As usual, he's given the barest of information & expected to fulfill his objective. The plot hinges on a misunderstanding that is very well plotted. The idea behind the story is a scary one & all too plausible. While still in the Cold War era, it strikes a special cord today.

See these pages for more of Hamilton's work, about him, & the latest releases.
http://goodreadergonebad.net/donaldhamilton/ ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Another solid entry in the Helm series. Occasionally, Hamilton backtracks to fill in Helm's history for readers new to the series, which is a bit annoying, but once this one hits its stride toward the end, it's a very satisfying tale with a bit more introspection than usual. The plot is even a little more far-fetched than usual - Helm has to marry a doctor in Pensacola who is being stalked by a "Shadower", one of scores of such people awaiting orders from a Communist agent to kill their targets. Helm's job is to lure the Shadower into a trap, then make him reveal the location of the leader so he can be killed. That's always the crux of the matter in a Helm book - he is a trained killer, pure and simple. Still, the pseudo-marriage turns out to have a lot more impact on his cold heart than one might expect. A very effective ending for this one as well. ( )
  datrappert | Jul 11, 2009 |
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To foil a mass assassination plot, Matt Helm must undertake his most dangerous mission: matrimony. An agent like Helm might be a nice man to live with for a while, be he's not the kind a woman would marry. Unless she has too. Unless it's all part of maintaining an ingenious cover. The man whose daily bread is violence takes a most unlikely bride - just to make sure death doesn't part them.… (more)

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