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The Poisoners

(Matt Helm #13)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  9 reviews
When Matt Helm is dispatched to Los Angeles to investigate the shooting of an agent, it wasn't just an assignment--it was personal. To get the answers he wants means run-ins with two-bit hoods, a trio of beautiful women, a bunch of drug traffickers, and his old friend Mr Soo, whose government has ideas about polluting America to death...
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Titan Books (first published 1971)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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If you are looking for good, solid hardboiled espionage fiction without fancy gadgets and worldwide megalomaniacs, look no further than Hamilton's excellent Matt Helm series. In 27 volumes which do seem surprisingly to get better as the series goes on, Hamilton takes a reluctant G-man who thought after the war he could settle down with a family in Santa Fe and turns him into a cynical, professional soldier for a super secret spy agency/ hit squad.

This volume, which is about midway through the se
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a twisty mission for Helm. An agent he recruited in an earlier book is killed, a bad idea, but as Helm hunts the murderer, he winds up in the middle of a couple of other operations. It makes for a great adventure. I love the older references such as the terrible smog problems, muscle cars, & the guns. Well, only two guns really tickle me in this tale. Still, it's nice that they were so expertly used.

This is the first time I've listened to this book in audio. I was going through my revie
A very strange trip this time. Helm is called in because he's close & an agent he recruited has been shot. He mixes it up with the Mafia a bit & more. Hamilton usually has something to say about a current event. This time it is air pollution in the early 1970's when the smog in some major cities had become extremely bad.

Again, Helm acts in his cold, logical fashion & you almost pity some of the bad guys. Careful reading allows the reader to pick out some of the story before hand, but it is very
Vikas Datta
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As full of devious twists and turns as the others but hugely enjoyable
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, espionage
Better than I expected, honestly. The lead character is less obnoxious that a lot of tough-guy novels from that era (Mike Hammer, for example). I still don't like the tone he's written in: sarcastic without being clever and he's borderline omniscient, which makes him a little dull.
There's a wider range of female characters and at least two of them have brains and are capable of independent action / thought.
I understand I'm damning with faint praise. This isn't great literature and it's not even
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
More a film noir detective plot then the usual spy stuff and it is the most suffocatingly misogynistic of the series so far ... in these times it's hard to stomach it, but it WAS those TIMES back then. Anyway, a fast well-written read. Mr. Soo (villain) is back and he may be back again. Admittingly, won't stop reading this series.
Jack Webb
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mob

... gets into the act this time, but in the employ of a Chinese agent that Matt has encountered twice before. More commie mayhem, just not the Russians this time. Enjoyable, tho Hamilton does rely on twisted female help an awful lot to get Helm out trouble.
Mark Levandoski
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Light reading,but highly enjoyable. Helm nothing like the Hollywood portrayal.
Harv Griffin
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Travis McGee novels
Shelves: own, reviewed
pic of my copy of the book

When I was young, I thought this was an average Matt Helm novel, not great, but pretty good. In re-reading it, most of the scenes I liked before, I couldn't tolerate now and had to skip over.

It might be a "mood" thing. Maybe I was in a bad mood when I read it this time around.

Matt Helm allows himself to be captured by adversaries twice in this novel, but once it is intentional; the second time, the opposition gets the drop on him, but Donald Hamilton's prose leaves open the possibility that Mat
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Donald Hamilton was a U.S. writer of novels, short stories, and non-fiction about the outdoors. His novels consist mostly of paperback originals, principally spy fiction but also crime fiction and Westerns such as The Big Country. He is best known for his long-running Matt Helm series (1960-1993), which chronicles the adventures of an undercover counter-agent/assassin working for a secret American ...more

Other books in the series

Matt Helm (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • Death of a Citizen (Matt Helm, #1)
  • The Wrecking Crew (Matt Helm, #2)
  • The Removers (Matt Helm, #3)
  • The Silencers (Matt Helm, #4)
  • Murderers' Row (Matt Helm, #5)
  • The Ambushers (Matt Helm, #6)
  • The Shadowers (Matt Helm, #7)
  • The Ravagers (Matt Helm, #8)
  • The Devastators (Matt Helm, #9)
  • The Betrayers (Matt Helm, #10)

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