style="height:70px;"
SGAG Logo

M.I.A. HUNTER

mia_hunter_bk_ss mia_hunter_bk_lagw mia_hunter_bk_iu mia_hunter_bk_smiah mia_hunter_bk_efn mia_hunter_bk_bs mia_hunter_bk_mm mia_hunter_bk_ht mia_hunter_bk_cs mia_hunter_bk_hd mia_hunter_bk_efh mia_hunter_bk_btn mia_hunter_bk_ddr mia_hunter_bk_ch mia_hunter_bk_hf mia_hunter_bk_mwz mia_hunter_bk_ck
 
Full Name: Mark Stone
Series Name: M.I.A. Hunter
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Stephen Mertz
Time Span: 1985 - 2014

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Mark Stone, aka the M.I.A. Hunter, is a freelance agent.
       By that I mean he works for no particular agency or corporation. He picks and chooses his clients and his missions and he looks very carefully at both before deciding. Reasonable since his life truly hinges on it.
       His official "cover", if that is the right word for it, is that of a private investigator licensed in California. He became one when he got out of the U.S. military after the Vietnam War, needing something to do to earn a living and to make a difference. However, his true vocation is that of person hunting for his fellow soldiers who have gone Missing In Action and who have been, for all intents and purposes, written off by the government. More specifically at first, he was after those actually were P.O.W.'s still held by the Vietnamese. As time goes by, his range increased and his opponents varied. His mission remained the same, though, bringing home those who could not get there alone.
       When we first meet Stone, he is around 35 years old having served for most of his adult life in the elite special forces Green Berets, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant. Leaving the service he started up his investigative business but the remembrance of his final days in Vietnam held as a prisoner of war kept him from moving on completely, that and the realization that though he made it back, others did not. Using his own resources, he decided to go back to the jungles to bring out some who were still held there.
       Since the government officially were declaring that there were no longer P.O.W.'s, he going after them put him at odds with several different departments, especially the CIA who had its own agendas going on. When he succeeded in bringing back a couple, tensions really added up.
       At least for a while. As the series progresses, his expertise in extraction under impossible conditions became too big a calling card for these very same organizations who were having their own people taken prisoner all over the world. If he could bring out the ones from Vietnam like he had, the reasoning went, he could do the same for them. With that his life would change while really staying the same.

       Helping Stone throughout his campaigns are three important people.
       "Hog" Wiley is a huge man whose looks are bad enough even a good friend like Stone would class him as ugly. In a fight, though, his ferocity and his love of action and mayhem makes him the perfect companion.
       Terrence Loughlin is a much more civilized individual. A Brit who served alongside Stone, like Wiley did, in Southeast Asia, Loughlin is the best of friends with Wiley and would willingly give his life to save the other. One would never know it, though, to listen to them.
       Carol Jenner is Stone's lady and a lawyer with terrific contacts back in the nation's capital and the chutzpah to use it to help keep Stone and company alive in places they are not supposed to be.

BOOKS

Number of Books:17
First Appearance:1985
Last Appearance:2014

       As I was preparing to make this entry in the compendium, I contacted via Facebook the author, Stephen Mertz, and asked about who wrote what. He responded graciously with:
       "Here is a snippet from a Glorious Trash interview I did a few years back that gives the baseline info on the series. As to authorship, all books are credited to me. From time to time collaborators pitched in (most famously Joe R, whose intro to the Sunterrnian Press collection of our three novels will explain how it was from the POV of those employed to develop rough drafts from my outlines, which I then revised to meet series standards. Thank you for your interest. Please share some insight into the origins of the MIA Hunter series. It was always my assumption that it was intended to capitalize on the “POW-rescue” aspect of First Blood Part II, but it would seem that the series was already planned and being written a year or so before that film even came out."
       He further added this quote from that interview:
       "That Bolan novel, Return to Vietnam, pretty much knocked people out when it first appeared. The book was a tremendous success and made several trade bestseller lists. An editor at Berkley saw the potential and asked me to sketch the MIA concept as the basis for a series. They liked Mark Stone, Terrance Loughlin and Hog Wiley, and so The MIA Hunter was born. By the way, those books ended up resonating with a broad audience of readers beyond the general men’s series readership. In the 1980s, there was a genuine concern among many that there were living American MIA/POWs left behind after the end of the Vietnam War. Anecdotal evidence kept filtering out that we’d left men behind who were still alive, though nothing ever materialized to the best of my knowledge. You can still see the black MIA/POW flags flying."
       Check out Glorious Trash for the full interview and for a ton of other information on other series.

Note: When the series first was published, the books were credited to Jack Buchanan, a pseudonym of Stephen Mertz. When they were re-released in mid 2010s, the author's real name was used.

Note: The synopsis of each book is in quotes, meaning I used the publisher's blurb from each as they were written better than I could.


1 Stone: M.I.A. Hunter Stone: M.I.A. Hunter
Written by Stephen Mertz, Mike Newton
Copyright: 1985

"Stone returns to the steaming jungles of Laos on a do-or-die mission: to free a captured gighter jock from the sadistic commander who has sentenced him to a fate worse than death."
buy from Amazon

2 Cambodian Hellhole Cambodian Hellhole
Written by Stephen Mertz, Mike Newton
Copyright: 1985

"After escaping a CIA team sent to capture him in Bangkok, Stone finds himself on a brand new mission. One of his buddies who saved his life in the Vietnam war has been captured in Cambodia and needs to be rescued. Mark Stone, again joined by his fellow mercenaries Terrance Loughlin and "Hog" Wiley, goes in search of his friend, but ultimately is captured."
buy from Amazon

3 Hanoi Deathgrip Hanoi Deathgrip
Written by Stephen Mertz, Joe R. Lansdale
Copyright: 1985

"Combat reporter Jackie Winslow has proved herself in life-or-death situations all over the world. Now she needs Stone's help. Her father, a military doctor, has been spotted in a slave camp deep in the jungles of Laos. Washington is calling him a traitor—but with Stone, Hog Wiley, and Terrance Loughlin leading the way, she is ready to crawl through hell to prove them wrong."
buy from Amazon

4 Mountain Massacre Mountain Massacre
Written by Stephen Mertz, Joe R. Lansdale
Copyright: 1985

"Brigadier General William Porter. Once the supreme allied commander over all forces in Vietnam, now he is the Warlord, the leader of a sinister army of American and Asian bandits, who live by creating terror and demanding tribute. Stone's mission: find Porter … and kill him. But even with Hog Wiley, Terrance Loughlin, and a group of Freedom Fighters by his side, Stone might be outmatched. Because the Warlord still controls the greatest weapon of all … fear."
buy from Amazon

5 Exodus From Hell Exodus From Hell
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1986

"With Hog Wiley, a deadly good-old-boy merc from Texas, and Terrence Loughlin, a steely British commando, Stone tries to bust a pair of American airmen out of their thirteen-year imprisonment. With the unexpected addition of a beautiful American missionary determined to save souls, the fearless mercs are nonetheless determined to blow a few souls straight to kingdom come."
buy from Amazon

6 Blood Storm Blood Storm
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1986

"The slave camps of Laos are the worst rotting pits of imprisonment yet devised. Their American prisoners have been listed as M.I.A.'s or given up for dead. But these broken men are very much alive-and ex-P.O.W. Mark Stone is hell-bent on bringing them home. A tough-skinned mercenary named Gorman joins Stone's team of commandos, bringing the wrath of a bloodthirsty drug lord on his tail. The C.I.A. are following the M.I.A. hunters on a trail of vengeance. And the sadistic Laotians are waiting for them at the end of the line..."
buy from Amazon

7 Saigon Slaughter Saigon Slaughter
Written by Stephen Mertz, Joe R. Lansdale
Copyright: 1987

"Ho Chi Minh City. U.S. representatives have come to this godforsaken hellhole to determine whether or not American servicemen are still being held prisoners of the Vietnamese government. The terrible truth will, of course, be denied. It's a mass of sticky red tape that ex-P.O.W. Mark Stone plans to untangle once and for all—with bullets and bloodshed. Stone has dedicated his life to freeing these forgotten soldiers. And now he's busting into the city's nearby prison to come up with some living proof …"
buy from Amazon

8 Escape From Nicaragua Escape From Nicaragua
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1987

"His M.I.A. rescues in Vietnam are legendary. And now the U.S. government, the government that once tried to stop him, is asking for his help. Two C.I.A. agents are missing. Shot down over Nicaragua, they were on a top-secret mission, and are now at the mercy of the Soviets. Only one man has the skill, and the guts, to go in after them. A man named ... Stone: M.I.A. Hunter. His first mission outside southeast Asia. The deadliest adventure of them all!"
buy from Amazon

9 Invasion U.S.S.R. Invasion U.S.S.R.
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1988

"MISSING: Lee Daniels, American journalist stationed in Moscow. The Soviets deny any involvement -- but the U.S. government knows better. There's only one way to get Daniels out of Russia: brute force. An ex-Green Beret Mark Stone is just the man for the job. It's the mission of a lifetime. The ultimate enemy. From Moscow to Leningrad, the K.G.B.'s deadliest agents lay in waiting, weapons poised, ready to crush any rescue attempt in a bloodstorm of bullets."
buy from Amazon

10 Miami War Zone Miami War Zone
Written by Stephen Mertz, Bill Crider
Copyright: 1988

"Ex-Vietnam vet Jack Wofford was fighting a new kind of war. The battlefield was Miami. The army was the D.E.A. And the enemy was the lowest form of drug-dealing scum ever to profit from human suffering. Now, Jack Wofford is missing. M.I.A. hunter Mark Stone is mad as hell. Wofford saved his life back in 'Nam, and Stone is ready to take on every damn pusher and kingpin in the city to find him."
buy from Amazon

11 Crossfire Kill Crossfire Kill
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1988

"In Paris, a German government official is shot and killed in the streets. In Frankfurt, an American general is kidnapped from a U. S. army base. Both jobs are carried out by skilled professionals, experts in the field of international terrorism. And it is only the beginning. By the time Mark Stone arrives, with Hog Wiley and Terrance Loughlin on his rescue team, the streets of Europe are slick with blood. A ruthless ex-Nazi has assembled the ultimate terrorist squad – trading Eurodollars for death on a rampage of calculated violence. Now, they are holding a woman captive–someone who is dear to the heart of one of Stone's men."
buy from Amazon

12 Desert Death Raid Desert Death Raid
Written by Stephen Mertz, Bill Crider
Copyright: 1989

"It looked like an easy job for Mark Stone and his men. The presidential party of a small African nation was being held hostage by a savage band of cutthroat rebels – and all Stone had to do was go in and get 'em out. A piece of cake – until the rebels forced their chopper to crash-land in the driest, deadest patch of land on Earth. Now, in a barren desert overrun with bloodthirsty nomads, Stone and his team must lead the presidential party to safety. It's a long, hot, torturous death-walk–without food, water, or camouflage. And the only thing they've got plenty of is guts…and a rebel army of killers on their tails!"
buy from Amazon

13 L.A. Gang War L.A. Gang War
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1990

"Lou Conte was one M.I.A. Stone had given up on finding. A treacherous deserter and traitor, Conte had once staged a bloody ambush on Stone's team in 'Nam - earning a kingpin position in the murky world of Asia's drug trade. Now, over two decades later, L.A.'s drug wars threaten to spill more blood than was ever soaked up by the jungles of Southeast Asia. Two powerful street gangs - the Bloods and the Crips - are waging war for a piece of the action...and taking orders from a familiar Vietnam deserter. The last person Lou Conte expects to run into is Mark Stone. And now it's Stone's turn to Ambush."
buy from Amazon

14 Back To 'Nam Back To 'Nam
Written by Stephen Mertz, Bill Crider
Copyright: 1990

"For men like John Jenner, the nightmare of 'Nam never ended. Captured by the Vietcong, he has spent the past seventeen years in brutal captivity -- sentenced to backbreaking labor on a poppy farm. After seventeen years of living hell, John Jenner has been forgotten by the world ... but not by Stone. Because Stone is going back to 'Nam, back to the savage jungles where it all started. But this time the enemy is no ragtag army of rebels. Stone and his men are up against the deadliest organization in Asia -- a blood-soaked drug empire headed by ruthless, sadistic professionals."
buy from Amazon

15 Heavy Fire Heavy Fire
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1991

"It would be a meeting of the most savage men on the planet. In the blood-soaked fields of Vietnam, a new army holds its first congress. Here, the world's top drug traders aim to consolidate their power under a sadistic heroin kingpin who holds American M.I.A.s as slaves. And this army could conquer the world—with weapons made for homicide and suicide. But this lethal party may have an uninvited guest. One who could throw a monkey wrench into the vicious new war machine. After all, what would a gathering of killers be without the deadliest one of them all?"
buy from Amazon

16 China Strike China Strike
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 1991

"Dr. Yu Bin isn't like any other M.I.A. Stone's tried to extract from the nightmare of a Communist prison. Dr. Yu stayed behind at his own request, a heroic volunteer in the undercover war against brutal oppression. Frail in body, Dr. Yu is strong in resolve to not crack under torture - until his sadistic captors turn their threats to his family."
buy from Amazon

17 Hostage Town Hostage Town
Written by Stephen Mertz
Copyright: 2014

"When an M.I.A. mission goes terribly wrong, Mark Stone and his team are thrust into a showdown with terrorists who have seized control of an isolated Texas border town. But the invaders have not counted on the fury of Mark Stone, Terrance Loughlin and Hog Wiley. It’s a deadly race against time to rescue a church full of innocent hostages when world terrorism strikes the American heartland."
buy from Amazon

MY COMMENTS

       The M.I.A. Hunter books were intended be fast-action Men's Adventure books, filled with near constantly excitement and danger and explosions and the like.
       Boy! Do they ever deliver!
       The main character, Mark Stone, never seems to have time to catch his breath when he accepts a mission and neither does the reader. These books are non-stop action and the guy who puts his money down on the counter for one of these tales more than gets his money's worth.
       There is not much in the way of cloak-and-dagger, leave a message at the dead drop here but there was never intended to be any. There is "go in under cloak of darkness" and "shove the dagger in deeper" resulting in more than one dead guy dropping to the floor but the guys who wrote these books worded it a whole lot better than I just did.
       If you want excitement while having to deal with the CIA and other intelligence groups all while trying to save prisoners of one sort or another, this is for you. It was for me, both back in the late 80s early 90s when I first read them and again when I got the ebooks for this entry.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

YOUR OPINIONS

Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

Register