Best 1978 Adventures (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
October 25, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1978 adventure novels. Happy 40th anniversary!

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Paula Gosling’s crime adventure A Running Duck.

When successful advertising exec Clare Randell is shot — with a silenced gun — on a crowded San Francisco street, then nearly killed by a bomb in her apartment, the SFPD assigns the case to Lieutenant Malchek. He’s a former Army sniper still struggling to readjust to normal life after his stint in Vietnam; he specializes in setting traps for hit men and contract killers… because he understands exactly how their minds work. Using Randell as bait, Malchek attempts to draw out her would-be assassin — first in a fog-bound safe house, where there’s an atmospheric siege; and then on a tour of California’s redwood forests, where there’s a shoot-out. Randell struggles with her romantic feelings towards Malchek; he struggles with a suppressed instinct to become a ruthlessly efficient killer.

Fun facts: A Running Duck, also published as Fair Game, was named one of the 30 essential crime reads written by women in the last 100 years. It has been adapted twice: in 1986, as the cult classic Cobra, starring Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen; and in 1995, as the truly terrible Fair Game, with Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin.

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JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

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