As a Spillane fan this was not as good as I as hoping for. It moves too slow for the usual Spillane book. It still has its merits but it’s not a grabber. Morgan The Raider is so named because his tactics remind the authorities of the pirate Henry Morgan. He’s suspected of stealing forty million dollars in cash the government was moving from Washington to New York.
Morgan pulls off the impossible. He breaks out of prison. Then by means of a fluke he’s back in the hands of the government. The money is nowhere to be found. Time to propose a deal.
In the country of Nuevo Cadiz an American scientist sits in a well fortified castle prison. Morgan had a reputation for breaking people out of prison during World War Two and now the government wants to use his skills to get the scientist,Dr.Victor Sable, out of the fortress prison. They offer him a deal that’s not all that great. He’ll be accompanied by Kim Stacy to keep an eye on him. Since she’s easy on the eyes that won’t be a problem. To make it look real the two are married by a JP in a quick ceremony so they can pose as honeymooners.
The main part of the plan is to have Morgan arrested there and once he’s inside then he can work his magic. If he can’t break him out he’s to kill him before the Commies can get their red paws on him. The corrupt government of the island knows all about the robbery and those in power will want a nice slice of the cash. Doing what they can to help Morgan is a group of underground freedom fighters. Morgan also has some contacts of his own from the war.
Through it all Morgan takes time to help a lady in distress who is being held a virtual prisoner by the sleazy chief of police with the approval of dictator Carlos Ortega. The relationship between Morgana and Kim is stormy to say the least.
Someone takes a shot at Morgan and he doesn’t have a clue who it could be. In New York a hooker with a heart of gold was murdered after spending a night with Morgan and on the island a member of the underground meets the same fate. Morgan’s room is bugged and he’s followed wherever he goes. He knows all this and plays it to his advantage.
Morgan works out an intricate plan of his own to bust Sable out. He’ll also have to deal with an approaching hurricane. Morgan is motivated by the challenge and not by any deal the government can make with him. The last section of the book saves the whole thing from mediocrity.
I don’t know if Spillane had a series in mind but even though this isn’t a must read it wasn’t a bad start.