Thursday, July 20, 2023

Crossover Cover: Murder Island


In this Executioner novel by Josh Reynolds, Mack Bolan and his latest target, arms dealer Byron Cloud, find themselves on an island being hunted by a man called Sarban Rainsford. Tony Spence, the CIA’s man in Hong Kong, tells Bolan that Cloud is a third-generation criminal: “His granddaddy used to run a floating casino. He was mostly a blackmailer, but he dabbled in the arms trade and murder-for-hire. His daddy was of similar cut. Both were pretty nasty, so Byron’s comparatively harmless.” The Yellow Chrysanthemum is mentioned.  Sarban Rainsford’s name is inspired by Sanger Rainsford, the protagonist of Richard Connell’s story “The Most Dangerous Game,” which has already been included in the CU. Bolan suggests in passing that Rainsford may be using an alias. If so, he likely read Sanger’s account of his duel with the Russian General Zaroff and was inspired to adopt both Zaroff’s M.O. and Rainsford’s surname. Byron Cloud’s grandfather is Reinhardt Cloud, a foe of the pulp hero Jim Anthony. Reinhardt was first mentioned in Reynolds’ novel The Death's Head Cloud and made his first physical appearance in Red Shambhala. The Yellow Chrysanthemum is likely another name for the Brotherhood of the Golden Chrysanthemum, mentioned in other works by Reynolds, and related to the Sons of the Golden Chrysanthemum from Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon series. 

This novel is one of hundreds of crossovers that will be covered in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which will be published by Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!


  1. I think this is a second time a Bolan novel uses the Most Dangerous Game Plot. That plot is used a lot. Probably because it is a good plot, but it can be overdone. I Spy and even Get Smart used this plot before. Hell, Dexter's Laboratory used this plot once.

    1. I recently watched an exploitation movie from 1968 called CONFESSIONS OF A PSYCHO CAT where a woman offers money to three men acquitted of murder (they're all guilty) if they can survive her hunting them through New York City for 24 hours. One of the three men, by the way, is a wrestler played by boxer Jake LaMotta, who of course was the subject of RAGING BULL.

  2. Interesting.

    To some degree, it's a testament to how great a concept that is but at the same time it was used a LOT.