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The Retaliators

(Matt Helm #17)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Matt Helm is unexpectedly rich, and he doesn't like it. Twenty thousand mysterious dollars appear in his bank account, but this is no time for celebration. Another secret agent with an unexplained surplus is murdered, and Helm figures he better work out who his "benefactor" is before he becomes the next target.
Paperback, 265 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Titan Books (first published 1976)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  240 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a twisty mystery runs through this one. Matt does have the information he needs, no one is trustworthy, & his own government is out to get him, but has to do the job anyway. The various clues & motivations throughout were masterfully done. As usual, so were the guns. Not gun-porn, just tools of the trade properly used.

I really liked the theme of the book. Some folks are retaliators & Hamilton shows off a variety throughout. There's a scheming woman, a British mercenary, & Helm's coworkers.
Tom Simon
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished MATT HELM #17: THE RETALIATORS, a great installment in the series. This novel followed a string of tepid, over-long, and convoluted Helm installments apparently designed to showcase Donald Hamilton’s nautical knowledge. I’m thankful that the series found its legs again in THE RETALIATORS.

In this novel, MATT HELM and two assassin colleagues are on-the-run and suspected of treason after internal investigators discover large cash deposits into their bank accounts. The action quickl
Another excellent story, full of action & confusion. It's not until the very last pages that Helm learns exactly what is going on. In the meantime, he's suspected by his own government & has several other groups to worry about too. The retaliator reference runs through the story line perfectly.

On to The Terrorizers!
Rugg Ruggedo
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started re-reading this series last summer, when I bought the first 16 at a library fair,for what I am sure was a great bargain. I'm not reading them on after another, I mix in all kinds of things. I do manage about one,sometimes two, a month.
I you're expecting James Bond you will disappointed. If your interested in tight, deadly action these are great reads. Mr Hamilton's Matt Helm is more cowboy then playboy and leads a violent life with no apologies.
This is one of the better stories with
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
It has been a long time since I read a Matt Helm book and I really enjoyed this one. Plenty of action, intrigue, and twists. You really don't get the whole story until the end. These are nothing like the movies and not as fantastical as the Bond stories, which I'm a fan of as well. One thing to keep in mind when reading these is when they were written. Helm is very much a product of his time. Still, I could easily see a nice modern action flick made based on this story that would be as good as a ...more
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the whole series is awesome, knock-off james bond, completely misogynistic
If you haven't read the Matt Helm series, you've missed out on the most down-to-earth, most realistic spy series ever written. In this novel, pay-off money appears in Helm's bank accounts and he is accused of being a traitor. Alone and on the run, Helm heads into Mexico to drive uncharted roads and stop a revolution. Filled with action and intrigue.
Jack Webb
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A target-rich environment

Matt is sent to Mexico to take out a very skilled assassin. Turns out the assassin was on a dream assignment: not one target, not even two, but three. Heck of a payday if he could pull it off.
Joe O'Connor
Very Good; Continuing character: Matt Helm; Helm is accused of treason after extra money is found in his bank account, and takes off for Mexico to set things straight and get to the bottom of a planned assassination
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual plot with some twists

The usual Helm at work. Just a question of trying to figure out who the bad guys and/or women are.
R.W. Clark
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp-and-mystery
The Retaliators is a title I came to by skipping past many after my reading of The Wrecking Crew. I wanted something remote, and this is as far as I could go in the Kindle editions as currently available.

The Retaliators being 16 years remote from the earliest in the series is both revealingly similar and slightly different. If any sense of one-for-one timing is to be observed, then Matt must be pushing 50, or more, and Mac (having been greying since WW2), must be beyond mandatory retirement (if
Harv Griffin
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Matt Helm fanatics ONLY
Shelves: own, reviewed
pic of my copy of the book

I can only recommend this novel to Matt Helm fanatics. The plot is good, and there are some good scenes, but on the whole I am disappointed with the bloated text, compared to the earlier Matt Helms.

Donald Hamilton outsources the Matt Helm smooth move in this novel: another agent allows himself to be captured by the opposition, so I can't count it.

Number of times Matt Helm uses himself as bait in the Matt Helm series, and allows himself to be captured by the opposition (or presents himself direc
Fredrick Danysh
Twenty thousand dollars mysteriously appears in Matt Helms bank account. Another agent who received a similar transaction is murdered. Helm needs to find the source of the money before he is the next target.
Peter Ackerman
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best of the series

Not since the first three books in this series has there been one that was as exciting and as much of a page turner than this one. Usually I need a break from Helm when I finish one. Now I cannot wait to read the next one in the series.
Vikas Datta
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again a thrilling read with layers and layers of deception...
Patrick Baird
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's enough action to keep your attention but I got a headache at the end where you have to plow through pages of explaining away the plot.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too macho to enjoy.
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, another padded 70s Helm that could lose 40 pages. Wish Hamilton had retired the series in the 60s.
Harvey Click
rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2016
Leon Niemandt
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2016
Thomas A. Whipple
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2017
Robert Spitzer
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May 12, 2014
Michael Pozzi
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Apr 08, 2014
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Aug 06, 2012
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Dec 02, 2009
Franklin D.
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Sep 27, 2016
Dan Holloway
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Sep 21, 2015
Mark Eisenstadt
rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2014
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Dec 01, 2008
leroy sinclair
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2015
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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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