James Reasoner first stumbled on my .357 VIGILANTE books in the mid-1980s when he was working in a used bookstore. Although he was a voracious consumer of pulp fiction, he'd never heard of Ian Ludlow, and the men's action adventure genre was dying, so he didn't bother reading it. But now he's caught up with it again in JUDGMENT, my new re-release of the first book in the series. He says, in part:
This is a classic case of not knowing what I was missing. Now, of course, we know that “Ian Ludlow” was actually a college student named Lee Goldberg, who went on to become a top-notch novelist, screenwriter, and producer
[…]You know right away that this is a little different from the usual men’s adventure novel because of the protagonist, Brett Macklin. [He] no superhuman men’s adventure hero. He screws up, he gets hurt, he’s lucky not to get killed several times, but eventually he uncovers an even bigger plot that puts a lot of people in danger.
This is a really entertaining thrill ride of a story with plenty of sex, violence, humor, social commentary, and great action scenes. When I think about what I was writing when I was in college . . . well, there’s really no comparison. JUDGMENT is the work of someone who was a solid pro, right from the first page.
I'm really flattered by James' review. It's hard for me to believe that it's been nearly thirty years since I wrote those books. Some of the writing makes me cringe…and some of it is certainly dated..but mostly I'm amused by it.
What's really strange is that sometimes a sentence or a scene will bring back memories I haven't had in, well, thirty years. I can remember where I was when I wrote certain portions…or what was happening in my life at the time. The books are a time capsule for me in many ways. But I'm thrilled to learn that they are still entertaining to read for others.