In 1985, Justin Perry’s fifth and final adventure was published. In Stud Service, the CIA’s most deadly and sex-obsessed assassin discovers that his whole life has been manipulated to lead to one moment, the moment when he will be sacrificed to Halley’s Comet. Before the sacrifice, of course, his sperm will be preserved by a secret cult that will use it to create hundreds of genetically perfect warriors who will conquer the Earth and rule it for the next 50,000 years….
Okay, I’m sensing that some of you think I’m making this up. I’m not. That is the plot of the final Assassin novel. Justin Perry discovers that SADIF is a front for a cult that worships Halley’s Comet and that his sperm is the key to their plan to rule the world. Actually, there’s several cults. It turns out that there’s many different divisions within the Halley Society and one of them is run the Old Man, who was Justin’s mysterious handler at the CIA. As the Old Man explains it, he just wanted to serve his country and make the world a better place. But he also has a brain tumor that is driving him mad.
It’s actually kind of an interesting wrap-up for the series. If nothing else, it actually explains why, over the course of the previous four books, people from Justin’s past kept randomly popping up and turning out to be SADIF agents. Since birth, Justin has been cultivated and developed to be a potential sacrifice to the comet. Even the Old Man and his sister were involved in it. Everything over the past four books has been about developing Justin into a heartless killing machine and, significantly, this book features Justin realizing that he no longer “enjoys” killing as much as he once did. He’s rediscovered his humanity and that humanity allows him to survive, even when he has hundreds of Halley cultists trying to masturbate him to death.
That said, even though the book nicely wraps up the weirdness of the series, it’s still a bit of mess. Trying to keep straight who works for each faction of the Halley Society requires taking notes, which is more activity than Justin Perry really deserves and this is one of those action novels where there’s considerably more exposition than action. It’s safe to skim over the final fourth of the book because nothing really happens until the final page or so. Somehow, the book manages to be extremely sordid and rather dull at the same time.
This was the final Justin Perry story. He saved the world a lot. Interestingly, it does appear that the author meant for this to be the final novel. This wasn’t a case of the publisher saying, “We’re not wasting any more money on this series.” Instead, all four of the previous book lead to this fifth one and it ends on a definite note of conclusion. One gets the feeling that the author felt that he had said everything that he needed to say. Of course, it’s impossible to guess what exactly it was that he was trying to say. I personally suspect the whole thing was meant to be an elaborate joke on the people who regularly read novels about violent spies and never once considered that their literary heroes were actually deeply damaged sociopaths. If so, bravo.