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Here Comes A Hero
By Lawrence Block

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Here Comes a Hero
By Lawrence Block
Center Point Publishing - Large Print, (2002)
ISBN: 1-58547-173-9
Genre: Adventure - Suspense Mystery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - August 28, 2002

When I first picked up my copy of Here Comes A Hero I was just going to skim through the first couple of chapters to see if would make a good travel book for an upcoming flight I was going to take. I never got to take the book with me. This is because, rather than just skimming the first few chapters, I ended up reading the entire book - right then and there!

The "star" of Here Comes A Hero is Evan Michael Tanner, one of the most unique fictional heroes I've ever met. For starters, he never sleeps - or at least he hasn't slept since a piece of North Korean shrapnel entered his brain when he was only eighteen years old. Tanner has put all of his 'awake' time to good use, and has turned into an astute scholar who makes a little money on the side writing college theses, and dissertations, for a fee.

He also spends of a lot of his time, and money, supporting various subversive groups ranging from the IRA to the Stern Gang. These contacts often come in handy while he is on one of his 'adventures.' Painted with the veneer of a James Bond type, complete with the girls, Tanner works for various governmental agencies - or at least he likes to make them think he does! In short, Tanner is, well Tanner. He's part detective, part super hero, and at times, part bad guy.

Tanner is the creation of Lawrence Block, a prolific author who has written, to date, eight Tanner novels, in addition to dozens of other books. His first seven Tanner books, including Here Comes A Hero, were originally published between 1966-1970. Consequently some material in the book is a bit outdated, but nonetheless riveting and fun to read. The eighth book in this series, Tanner on Ice, was published in 1998.

Here Comes A Hero is vintage Tanner, wherein our esteemed hero receives a phone call from Mrs. Miriam Horowitz concerning the disappearance of her daughter Deborah. Tanner, being Tanner, initially hangs up on the distraught woman. But at last he relents, after all Deborah, better known to Tanner as Phaedra Harrow was one of his numerous ex-girlfriends, who was quite beautiful and most memorable due to her impenetrable chastity.

In short order, Tanner discovers that Phaedra had been kidnaped by white slavers and taken to Afghanistan. Tanner diligently pursues the trail that Phaedra left behind. Along the way Tanner has to use some harsh means of acquiring the information he needs, methods that prove that Tanner is not the untarnished angel that he sometimes appears to be. In attempting to rescue Phaedra from a fate worse than death, Tanner must deal with smugglers, revolutionaries, spies, and various countries that would like to see him hanged. He even gets to ride a camel or two before this adventure ends.

Here Comes A Hero is a good, old-fashioned, fast-paced, adventure yarn. It does include a smattering of sex and violence, but nothing graphic. However, the overall focus of this novel, white slavery, may make this novel unsuitable for some readers.

Here Comes A Hero is the sixth novel in the Tanner series. However, it can be read out of sequence or as a stand alone book without losing any of the overall story line. Block weaves enough background information on Tanner into the novel so that you feel that you've known him for years - even if this is your first introduction to the great Evan Tanner. One word of warning - once you meet Tanner, you'll want to go back and read everything you can find on him! This is one rollicking good adventure story that will make you an instant Tanner fan if you're not one already....


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