THE BUTCHER

 
Full Name: Bucher
Series Name: The Butcher
Codename: Iceman
Nationality: American
Organization: White Hat
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jason Stuart
Time Span: 1970 - 1989
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Bucher is an agent for White Hat.
       For many years, the man known as The Butcher because of his real last name of Bucher and the fact that he wasn't afraid of a little blood, was the highest paid enforcer the Syndicate had. No matter how powerful a miscreant was, if he got out of line, the Butcher would set him straight. Or eliminate him and make room for someone who would behave. Then he grew tired of the killing and wanted out. The mob bosses told him succintly that no one quit the business alive but he thumbed his nose at them and walked out. They responded by puting a price on his head. The few that tried to claim it so far have died.
       That was when the government came calling. The agency was a small, unnamed outfit which went by the ridiculous nickname of White Hat. Bucher would be called Iceman. The offer was a badge, which he laughed at, a decent salary, which he sneered at, and a chance to serve the people rather than what he had been doing. He surprised everyone by agreeing.
       Bucher, who had no first name because the priest who found the newborn left on the orphanage's doorstep never realized he had forgotten to given him one when he made up a name on the forms. Bucher despised the place and managed to run away when he was ten, ending up in Chicago where he was befriended by another young boy, the son of an up-and-coming mobster. When that boy died of leukemia, the grieving parents kept Bucher and finished raising him as their own. As the boy grew, his adopted father recognized the incredible skills that he had when it came to fighting and winning and the utter lack of fear for tackling those bigger and in greater number. Bucher followed his father into the family business and became an enforcer, a particularly efficient one. When, nearly a decade later, his father was killed, Bucher took over and ran that piece of the action for another decade. During that time he became quite well off but also quite tired of being on what he saw as the wrong side.
       Now as an agent for the secretive White Hat, he takes those assignments which interest him and he plays by his own rules in getting the job done.

       The Butcher series was conceived by Lyle Kenyon Engel, the legendary producer who created a writers syndicate, appropriate for this series, comprised of individual authors who, under contract, took the basic concept and wrote books for it, using the house name of Stuart Jason. Each author was given a short synopsis of the storyline and sometimes a very brief outline of the plot. James Dockery wrote all but two of the first 26, those two by Lee Floren. The remaining 9 were by legendary and prolific author Michael Avallone.

BOOKS

Number of Books:35
First Appearance:1970
Last Appearance:1989

1 Kill Quick Or Die Kill Quick Or Die
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1970

The missing Chinese nuclear physicist was being sought by both the Americans and the Chinese. Bucher is put on the job and must dodge bullets from the other side as well as those wanting the bounty on his head.

2 Come Watch Him Die Come Watch Him Die
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1971

White Hat wants Bucher to investigate the claim by a young bride that the junior Senator she had just married was not the same man who joined her on their honeymoon.

3 Keepers Of Death Keepers Of Death
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1972

Someone has a plan to destroy the nation's capital with an atomic bomb. Butcher has to fight East German agents and drug crazed hippies to track the culprits down.

4 Blood Debt Blood Debt
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1972

The man called himself the King of Spades and he had a plan to bring the country to its knees unless Bucher can find out who he was and where he was.

5 Deadly Deal Deadly Deal
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1973

The President passed word to White Hat that a warning had come in, promising to cripple the country by depriving it of something "more valuable than money". Whatever it was, Bucher had to protect it.

6 Kill Time Kill Time
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1973

The interest of White Hat has turned to a syndicate civil war where the two factions no longer worried about innocents. Bucher's job was to stop the carnage by creating a lot of his own.

7 Death Race Death Race
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1973

Someone is replacing those people manning the DEWline facilities, leaving the nation's early warning system useless. Bucher is sent to find who is behind the substitutions and how they are being done.

8 Fire Bomb Fire Bomb
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1973

The tremendous amounts of heroin being smuggled in was pleasing to the junkies and pushers but not to the government. Bucher was told to find who was behind the increase and this led him to a plan to start a war with the Soviet Union.

9 Sealed With Blood Sealed With Blood
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1973

The crates bound for Isreal were marked "farm inplements" and the check by the government confirmed it. Nevertheless, the interest the mob had in them told Bucher something was not right.

10 The Deadly Doctor The Deadly Doctor
Written by Lee Floren
Copyright: 1974

The scientist had created a liquid which was instant sterilzation. The population control aspects were tremendous but so where the political and economic ones. Bucher was told to find the scientist or kill him if need be.

11 Valley Of Death Valley Of Death
Written by Lee Floren
Copyright: 1974

Going by the ridiculous name of World King, the madman nevertheless had a plan to taking control of the planet and it started with getting rid of the Butcher.

12 Killer's Cargo Killer's Cargo
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1974

The gas was called H(g)A-7 and it instantly drove the inhaler into a rabid killing fit. And there was no known antidote. Bucher is not the only agent trying to get it.

13 Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1975

Besides being the latest hot thing on television, the woman was the daughter of a very rich and outspoken businessman. Now she has been kidnapped by a ragtag bunch of homegrown terrorists and Bucher is sent to get her back.

14 African Contract African Contract
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1975

The killing of a top mob figure just as he was to testify before Congress leads to White Hat directing Bucher to find the killers and teach them a lesson.

15 Kill Gently But Sure Kill Gently But Sure
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1975

Hundreds of remote controlled bombs are scattered about the country and controlled from one location in the Tennessee hills. When Bucher is unable to find the control station, he knows he has to hunt down each bomb.

16 Suicide In San Juan Suicide In San Juan
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1975

How can a supertanker go missing? How can two of them disappear? Who is controlling a machine capable of antigravity? Those questions are what Bucher is assigned to answer.

17 The Cubano Caper The Cubano Caper
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1976

Another Bay of Pigs invasion is being planned by Cuban-Americans, pushed by the mob, and they stand as much chance of success as the first one. Bucher is sent to stop them and keep Castro alive.

18 The U.N. Affair The U.N. Affair
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1976

Several Israeli delegates to the U.N. have been kidnapped by arab terrorists and the computers in Washington name Bucher as the best agent to break them free.

19 Mayday Over Manhattan Mayday Over Manhattan
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1976

Armed extremists have taken over a jet liner out of New York and are demanding two million dollars. Another hijacking is also in the works, all secretly funded by the mob.

20 The Hollywood Assassin The Hollywood Assassin
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1976

Looking for the daughter of a member of the Cabinet who disappeared while in Hollywood, Bucher finds that the mob have infiltrated the movie industry as a first step in controlling all the media.

21 Instant Dead Instant Dead
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1976

The communist plot to take over Spain starts with the capture of an important Spanish leader as well as an archbishop. Bucher is the man chosen to kill the plotters and free the men.

22 Grecian Bloodbath Grecian Bloodbath
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1976

A major bookkeeper for the Syndicate wants to turn against the mob but his daughter is kidnapped while in Switzerland and his deal is simple - his girl for his testimony.

23 Appointment In Iran Appointment In Iran
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1977

The Shah's Foreign Minister is on the verge of reaching a peach agreement with Israel but the PLO wants to stop it. Their plan is to have the death blamed on the Israelis.

24 Venetian Vendetta Venetian Vendetta
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1977

Valuable art works are being stolen all over the Venice area and the Mafia is behind it. White Hat wants the thefts stopped and it sends Bucher to do it.

25 The Corporate Caper The Corporate Caper
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1977

When Bucher responds to a call from White Hat and is given an assignment, carrying it out gets him arrested and the Director of White Hat claims to have no knowledge of the mission.

26 The Terror Truckers The Terror Truckers
Written by James Dockery
Copyright: 1977

The sudden deaths at several connecting farms, people, animals, and crops all dieing from a deadly gas, get White Hat to send Bucher in to find out why and who.

27 The Judas Judge The Judas Judge
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1979

The bounty on Bucher's head is now at a million dollars and the hitman called Black Death, a man who has never missed, thinks that is enough to interest him.

28 September Slaughter September Slaughter
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1989

Someone is stirring up considerable unrest among the Latino populations from Southern California to Texas. Bucher is assigned the job of finding out who and he must work with a female CIA agent without revealing his real identity.

29 Kill Them Silently Kill Them Silently
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1980

A new drug which greatly enhances sexual potency has some very bad side effects. The FDA is moving far too slow for White Hat's tastes so Bucher is sent to find the secret behind it all.

30 Coffin Corner, USA Coffin Corner, USA
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1981

All of organized sports is in danger of being discredited as the mob is involved in a plot to fix all the major games. Already the star quarterback for the upcoming Super Bowl has been killed for not agreeing.

31 Death In Yellow Death In Yellow
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1981

An underground complex is the site of a crazed Chinaman who is perfecting a chemical far more lethal than the bomb, all with a plan to change the face of warfare.

32 The Hoodoo Horror The Hoodoo Horror
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1981

The man who calls himself Father PeQuet has amassed a following in the thousands, all willing to follow his orders no matter what. When he suddenly takes ill, White Hat wonders what is behind his trouble and what is really behind him.

33 Go Die In Afghanistan Go Die In Afghanistan
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1982

A key American nuclear scientist is trapped in the capital of Afghanistan. It is up to Bucher to get to him and find a way out before the Russians get their hands on him.

34 The Man From White Hat The Man From White Hat
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1982

An already bloody dictator of a Latin American country has turned insane from an assassin's bullet. Now he and his equally manical lover have plans for bringing the Soviets and giving them a base in the Western Hemisphere.

35 Gotham Gore Gotham Gore
Written by Michael Avallone
Copyright: 1982

In the gentle region of Lake Placid, an insane plan is being implemented that will see the total destruction of Manhattan as the first step towards global domination.

MY COMMENTS

       On the heels of the awesome success of The Executioner and The Destroyer, Pinnacle Books became known as the "The" publisher. The Butcher. The Death Merchant. Known for fast action, no real plot, little characterization, lots of gun fire and testosterone. I loved it!!
       But some of the Butcher stories are actually quite good. Certainly not on a Greene, LeCarre, or Deighton level but still highly entertaining. It is really a matter of not expecting anything at all so when you get something, it seems like much more. At any rate, read these books with little anticipation and with a manly desire for stuff to blow up and you will be surprised. But don't plan on reading two in a row. That would be a bit too much testosterone.

GRADE

My Grade: C

YOUR OPINIONS
Rock Savage - 4/12/2013 8:11:03 PM

Gotham Gore is the best in the series, it's a damn shame that it was the last one!!


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