1996 0-7734-8918-5 This is the first book-length study to investigate the phenomenon of this enormously popular genre. Employing hitherto closed access to the histories of several pioneering publishing companies, the book initially chronicles the rather chaotic rise (and fall) of small enterprises that saw the commercial potential in such an approach to fiction. Focusing first on the innovative creations of author Don Pendleton, the text traces the remarkable achievement of his thirty-eight book series, The Executioner. It examines the continuing success of the series under a growing number of writers, and includes a running commentary on the many Mack Bolan imitators that have sprung up. This book fills a gap in contemporary literary criticism on a genre that warrants extended analysis.