Thursday, January 6, 2011

14 Seconds To Hell by Jon Messman

1975 Award 4th printing
The death factory was somewhere in a carefully hidden corner of China. It sheltered Peking's gigantic nuclear arsenal. Its master was a crazed genius whose hatred was fanned by an amoral, corrupt, breathtakingly beautiful woman.  He rigged the bombs to explode on voice command. The targets were the United States and Russia. Nick Carter's mission was direct and impossible. Penetrate the core of Red China and destroy the site. He also had to betray the two agents without whom he could not complete the assignment. The sensual bonde twins sent by the KGB to help Nick. Leave them behind to die in withering agony.  Author Jon Messman (1920-2004) answered a New York Times ad and this is his first of fifteen Nick Carter Killmaster adventures. He will write for the series until late 1970 before going on to start his own series; "The Revenger", "Jefferson Boone, Handyman" and "The Trailsman"

Printing History
Written by Jon Messman (1920-2004)

Award Books
1st Printing (A376X) November 1968
2nd Printing (A637X) September 1970
3rd Printing (A927S) January 1972
4th Printing (AQ1448) April 1975

Tandem Books
1st Printing (3578) 1968
Reprint (unkn) 1971
Reprint (5944) June 1972

1st and 3rd Award Printings
Tandem Editions


  1. Messman was a good fit for this series. I've liked all the Nick Carters I've read by him.

  2. The 1975 cover is by Mort Künstler, according to The website says he did a number of covers, and singles out this one, saying that it's reprinted from a 1960s men's adventure magazine; I imagine most if not all of the rest are reprints as well.

    And then the 1972 cover here is a reprint of the 1970 Temple of Fear, flipped left for right. Award also reprinted earlier Johnny Fedora and Secret Mission covers as Nick Carters.

    I can name six (or perhaps five and a half) Nick Carter artists, including Künstler, Jeff Jones, and George Gross. Gray Morrow signed The Executioners, The Cairo Mafia, and The Inca Death Squad. Charles Copeland is credited on a website for The Man Who Sold Death. Some reprinted Johnny Fedora covers are signed; I make out Contr... as the beginning of the signature.

  3. Guys, thanks for the info. Appreciate the comments.