Synopsis: After a brief refresher course, Helm is sent to Sweden with the task of killing "Caselius," a pesky foreign agent. Using his experience as a photographer as his cover story, Matt Helm manages to identify "Caselius," track him to his lair, and permanently remove him from among the living.

The Players:
  • As usual, Mac, who is described as "a spare, gray haired man of indeterminate age, with coal black eyebrows and cold black eyes."
  • Lou Taylor, wife of deceased newsman Hal Taylor, who has been coerced into working for Caselius. She survives.
  • Sara Lundgren, Matt's blue-haired contact in Sweden. She deliberately blows Matt's cover story as a ploy to infiltrate Caselius' operation, but is killed by Caselius.
  • Jim Wellington, an agent for another U.S. Government agency. He is shot, but not killed, by an assassin trying to kill Helm.
  • Elin von Hoffman, confederate of Caselius. Killed by Caselius.
  • Raoul Carlsson, Sara's "fiance." Turns out he is Caselius, and is killed by Matt Helm.

Scorecard:
Amorous conquests: Lou Taylor, but not much of a conquest. She has a romp in bed with Eric to keep him from interfering while her cohorts do their dirty deeds elsewhere. Afterwards, she calls him "darling" a couple of times.

Dead: Six (Caselius, or his henchmen, killed "Vance" [one of Mac's men], Sara Lundgren, and Elin von Hoffman; Matt Helm killed two of Caselius' men and Caselius himself. Caselius may also have killed one of his own men who had been wounded by Vance, rather than go to the trouble of getting his wounds treated.)

Injuries to Helm: None (he gets beat up a few times and his fingers get nicked by Caselius' sword, but not serious)

Conclusion: Helm manages to complete his assignment by killing the two men that Caselius had posted as guards, and then killing Caselius. In the process he rescues Lou Taylor. Afterwards, Helm and Taylor have this conversation: "The man in the bushes with a broken neck," she whispered. "The one by the cabin with a bullet in the back. In the back, Matt!" "Yeah," I said. "In the back. He happened to be facing that way." "And Caselius himself . . . he'd surrendered, Matt! He had his hands in the air." I said, "It was my job, Lou. I had to finish it, no matter where his damn hands were."

And so Matt Helm moves on to his next assignment in . . .
         

Matt Helm ™ is the property of Donald Hamilton.
and is a Trademark of Integute AB
This independent reference to, and appreciation of, the Matt Helm book series
is copyright 1998-2012 - Don Winans
Originally posted in June 1998 - Last Modified 29 April 2001
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