Monday, December 31, 2012

The Enforcer #4: Kill Deadline (Manor Books edition)

The Enforcer #4: Kill Deadline (Manor Books edition)
No month stated, 1979  Manor Books

As I mentioned in my review of Kill Deadline, the 4th volume of the Enforcer series, Manor Books failed to reprint this particular installment when it took over the series in 1975. The original edition of Kill Deadline was published by Lancer Books in 1973, and was the last volume of the series that Lancer released.

When Manor Books began re-releasing the novels in 1975, they issued each of the Lancer originals with new covers (and in the case of Enforcer #1, a new title – “Caribbean Kill”). My guess is it must’ve been an oversight which prevented Kill Deadline from being reprinted with the rest of the Lancer originals. Anyway, Manor finally got around to it in 1979, four years after the others had been reprinted, and six years after the original Lancer Books edition.

But boy did they screw up with this printing. For one, take a look at that title. They have Kill Deadline as “#6” in the series, when in reality it was #4. I assume Manor was trying to fool people into thinking this was a “new” installment…and also, if you count the Lancer originals that Manor reprinted (Enforcer #1Calling Doctor Kill, and Kill City), plus the two "new" Manor originals (Bio Blitz and Steel Trap), then this would actually be the sixth volume, at least in order of publication.

I once read somewhere that this Manor edition of Kill Deadline was supposedly a wholly new book, just with the same title. Sadly, that’s not true. The Manor edition of Kill Deadline is the exact same novel that Lancer Books published in 1973. Even the cover is the same – Manor couldn’t even be bothered to commision a new cover for it, as they had for the others.

Again looking at the cover, you’ll notice something is missing – namely, a byline for series author Andrew Sugar. Manor only put Sugar’s name on the spine, and even here they goofed: see if you can spot what’s wrong in the picture below:

My favorite thing about this Manor edition though is the back cover. Clearly written as an overview of the Enforcer series but written by someone who’d obviously never read a single volume of it, this back cover synopsis makes the series sound like some sort of pulp-horror hybrid:

The blurb on the first page is also enjoyable, offering more vague (and misleading) hyperbole instead of the customary excerpt from the novel itself:

This Manor edition of Kill Deadline is easily the rarest volume of the entire Enforcer series. It took me a long time to find a reasonably-priced copy; what few copies are out there generally start at around a whopping $50 or more. But I had to find a copy…mostly because I really hoped this was some heretofore-“lost” installment of the series, but also because I’m just such a geek about The Enforcer. It’s like my Star Wars, I guess.

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