Book Review: Born to Kill by John D. Revere


Published in 1984, Born to Kill is the third volume in the Justin Perry saga.

This time, the CIA’s most sex-obsessed assassin is on assignment in Jamaica.  There have been a series of mysterious chicken attacks in both Jamaica and Florida and Justin’s boss, the Old Man, is sure that it is somehow connected to the upcoming launching of a space shuttle in Cape Canaveral.  However, it’s not only chickens that have been making trouble.  Someone has been beheading government officials across Europe.  Justin’s assignment is to solve the mystery behind the chicken attacks and make sure that SADIF doesn’t interfere with the shuttle launch.  The Old Man has decide that he doesn’t want any SADIF operatives taken alive so, naturally, Justin Perry is the man to send.

Of course, Justin is more concerned with his latest girlfriend but she’s apparently blown up while driving to the airport.  Now, Justin not only has to solve the mystery of the killer chickens but he also has to get vengeance for his latest murdered lover.  But, before he does that, he has to spend a few days at the local brothel with another CIA agent because he’s Justin Perry.

Anyway, Born to Kill moves along at a decent enough pace, up until we get a flashback to the time that an 8 year-old Justin Perry had sex with a chicken and was then traumatized when his grandparents possibly served him the same chicken for dinner and then …. wait, what?  Justin Perry did what?  Yes, you read that correctly.  The action in the book stops so that Justin Perry can remember the time that he had sex with a chicken.  First off, ew.  Secondly, does this guy even have any good childhood memories?  Third, why is this even in the book?  It certainly doesn’t make Justin Perry into a sympathetic character.  Later on, when Perry was attacked by several mutant chickens, I was rooting for the chickens.

When I read the first two books, I assumed that they were meant to be a satiric and that Justin Perry was meant to be a parody of the heroes who appeared in other pulp paperbacks.  But I have to say that the book treats the chicken incident very seriously and, just as Perry spent Vatican Kill debating the existence of God, he spends a good deal of this book thinking about the decline of morality in society.  (He blames the sexual magnetism of John F. Kennedy.)  What I’m saying is that I’m getting the feeling that the author may have meant these books to be taken seriously.  If so, agck!

Anyway, to be honest with you, the whole chicken thing was really gross and I nearly stopped reading at that point.  Because I’m a completist, I did continue with the book but I have to admit that it was more skimming than in-depth reading as I was kind of worried to find out what other barnyard animals Justin Perry may have had sexual relations with.  And really, I think that might be the best way to read these books.  Skim over it all as quickly as possible and don’t make the mistake of thinking about what any of it means.  Justin Perry saves the day and kills a lot of people and, at one point, watches as a woman he’s just had sex with gets eaten by a shark.  He’s fascinated by the fact that the shark is eating a bit of him along with her.  The main theme of the series seems to be that Justin Perry really needed to get help.  Let’s just put it like that.

One response to “Book Review: Born to Kill by John D. Revere

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 8/8/22 — 8/14/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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