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Death's Head Paperback – May 1, 1999


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Heretic Books (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0854492909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854492909
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,665,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A self-confessed science fiction and fantasy devotee, Mel Keegan is known for novels across a wide range of subjects, from the historical to the future action-adventure ... but certainly MK is best known for the NARC series, featuring iconic characters Jarrat and Stone. Mel lives in South Australia with an eccentric family. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
The plot - and subplots - were well done.
Lucas
The plot itself is sophisticated and races along brilliantly to an exciting finish.
R.Parklane
I like sci-fi and fantasy novels with strong characterizations.
Suzanne Tolbert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lucas on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am glad I found and purchased this book. The quality of the storytelling is pretty good, it kept me absorbed and turning the pages three nights in a row, up past my bedtime so I was tired at work the following mornings.
There are two protagonists in the book, Stoney and Jarrat, officers in NARC. They are like futuristic sci-fi versions of the DEA. Keegan is obviously a sci-fi aficionado, the descriptions of the high-tech weaponry, armor and spaceships were very illustrative and added a lot to the story.
The plot - and subplots - were well done. The main plot involves bringing down a drug-running crimelord, Mavvik. Jarrat starts the story out undercover, and of course everything that can go wrong goes wrong, and the heros have to help each other out of various scrapes. The other major plot is the relationship between Jarrat and Stone. The tension between the two was great for most of the book. It kept me waiting and excited about when they finally get together, and was one of the reasons I kept turning the pages. The payoff in that regard was good but not as climactic as I was hoping, although I'm not sure I can put my finger on why. Maybe it should have waited until book 2 (which I haven't read yet but fully intend to), just because it would have built anticipation even more, and in a way distracted from the plot.
The most well done character was, in my opinion, Evelyn. She is a minor character who serves a critical role, and seemed to be the most realistic, well-drawn of the bunch. The most relatable, perhaps. The dynamic between her, her younger brother, and each of the characters she interacts with was tangible.
The sex scenes were explicit, but did not overwhelm the story.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gillian Middleton on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Set in a high tech future this book reminded me of a japanese robot anime!
We have two great, sexy characters, partners in the paramilitary force called NARC who fight against the vicious drug cartels who run whole planets.
Jarrat & Stone are a great pair of heroes, and the author has created a fantastic futuristic world of high tech gadgets and hardware.
If you like pure escapist entertainment with a terrific story-line and non-stop action then this is the book for you. It also has lashings of great gaysex!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Candice E. Frook on July 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only other Mel Keegan I have read was The Deceivers which was WOW. This, NARC, etc, was well written probably because that's what the man does. But the long build up to the romance is only wonderful when the payoff is wonderful. I can't tell you how flat that fell. Also, you had both heroes traumatically trashed by bad guys and the revenge again was disappointing. Only the Big Baddie who orders the beating/rape is fought one on one (and he came off smarter than the good guys which doesn't help). But just because the Big Baddie behind it all is the root cause of your trouble doesn't mean that a man seeking revenge doesn't need to see the actual perprator pay--and not long distance either. That doesn't work for the rape victim in my opinion and I know it doesn't work for the reader who has gone through it w/him or in this case, w/them.

I'm still very much looking forward to Keegan's historical novels/adventures, but I will skip the rest of this particular series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Tolbert on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like sci-fi and fantasy novels with strong characterizations. After reading this book and the sequel "Equinox", Jarrat and Stone seem like living, breathing characters. I am not sure how many people still read Chester Himes' Coffin Ed Johnson, Gravedigger Jones mysteries. If you overlook the obvious disimilarities, Jarrat and Stone remind me of Himes' heroic policemen. Each alone is good at what he does. Together, they are unstoppable. I would trust my life to either crime fighting duo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeep Tenk on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Narc series is chronicled over four novels and a novella (NARC 3 1/2), published over a wide span of years, from 1991 to 2007.
The narrative style is uneven, but improves somewhat towards the end of the series - the author tends to forget that the reader is not inside his head and privy to his thoughts.

The two narcotics agency enforcers and co-captains of space carrier 'NARC Athena', Kevin Jarrat and Jerry Stone, are lovers. In a high-tech, inter-galactic society they fight and crush 'Angel' cartels, Angel being a devastatingly lethal drug. Each of the books of the series deals with the eradication of a cartel on a colony world; the final book with a cartel on the home world. The books are written over a sort of template, which can become somewhat tedious and repetitive.
There are interesting, even likeable, characters in the books and loads of action. There are too much emphasis on guns for my taste, but that could just be me.
I like that the sex episodes are not over the top and fits naturally into the story line.

I am in doubt whether to give three or four stars, but as I bought all five books and read them with some enjoyment, I think three stars would be a bit harsh, so four it is. Could I, like Mel Keegan, use 3 1/2 I'd do that.

I have trouble reconciling myself with the fact that this is the author of 'Fortunes of War' (1995); 'Fortunes' being far the better book, in my opinion - I even included it in my listmania on Amazon.com. But Mel Keegan's authorship is very uneven, encompassing books that are downright annoying and amateurish, at least to me.

NARC 1: Death's Head 1991
NARC 2: Equinox 1993
NARC 3: Scorpio 2004
NARC 3 1/2: Stopover 2007
NARC 4: Aphelion 2007

This book is bought by me as paperbacks on Amazon.co.uk
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