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Resurrecting a Genre with a Dead Man

Guest post by novelist and television writer Lee Goldberg, author of Face of Evil

Face-of-evil I grew up loving those "men's action adventure" paperback novels of the 60s, 70s, and 80s...series like The Destroyer, The Ninja Master, Nick Carter: Spymaster and The Death Merchant. You could find them in finer supermarkets, gas stations, 7-11s and bookstores everywhere. They were the male equivalent of Harlequin romances, though the only romance was often between a man and his AK-47.

The books were short and tightly-written, with hard-boiled heroes, outrageously sexy women, and gleefully over-the-top plots. Nobody would ever mistake them for great literature, but they were enormous fun to read...and to write. I know, because I broke into publishing in the mid-1980s writing one of those series--357 Vigilante by "Ian Ludlow"--while I was still in college.  

Sadly, the "men's action adventure" series novels are virtually extinct now, early victims of the narrowing of the paperback marketplace.

But the Kindle offers the perfect medium for the revival of the genre, which is why I've teamed up with eight other writers on The Dead Man, an original ebook series that we hope recaptures the spirit and pure escapism of the thousands of books written during the heyday of "men’s action adventure."

The first Dead Man book is Face of Evil. It's about Matthew Cahill, an ordinary man leading a simple life...until a shocking accident changes everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that nobody else does, making each day a journey into a dark world he knows nothing about. He's on a quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become. And it's a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil. New books in the series will appear every month or so, just like they used to in paperback in the old days.

The Kindle makes cheap, short action novels viable and exciting again, giving me and my fellow Dead Man authors--William Rabkin, Bill Crider, James Reasoner, Joel Goldman, David McAfee, Burl Barer, James Daniels, and Matt Witten--the thrilling opportunity to indulge our great affection for the genre and hopefully get you hooked on it, too.

Face of Evil is currently $2.99 on Kindle.


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I can't wait for this series! Amazing roster of writers and Lee Goldberg is fantastic!

This is a splendid kickstart to what promises to be a great series of books. The deadman is dead good!

I'm not a man, but I used to love reading those "men's action adventure" with the over the top plots. I'm glad to see this series.

Way to go, Lee! Just downloaded my copy and can't wait to get started on it.

Way to go, Lee! Just downloaded my copy and can't wait to get started on it.

Man, I loved those books, especially Nick Carter. But wasn't it Killmaster, not Spymaster?

Awesome cover....just downloaded...can't wait to dive in.


You're right, my mistake, it was the Killmaster. What was I thinking?


Barry, Mike, Blake. L.C. and Paul -- Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement!


Sounds like a good series, and off to a flying start. Now if only Warren Murphy could be persuaded to try resurrecting The Destroyer.

I've been thinking about shortstories a lot lately, that this is the perfect time for shorter stories, with the no book size limit being set anymore within the digital world.

Prices can be set low so it's viable to have shorter fun stories that can be serialized.

I sure would like to do this myself, and maybe I will.

Sounds like a great series. It is so exciting to see all the innovations in publishing coming our way. Good for the readers and the writers.

I remember those great tales well, and am delighted to see that Lee and friends are celebrating the genre.

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