Tobin In Trouble - click for a bigger version

  • Marks out of 10 for Cover

 As the cover states - It's Super-Stud versus the MOB - so Russ is decked out in Trilby and suit - suggestively pointing a machine gun skyward from the crotch area. Russ doesn't get to tote a machine gun in the book (nor does he wear a hat) but he DOES get to be intimate with girls like this blonde with the 70s hair giving him the lusty look. 5/10 for accuracy - something tells me that Mayflower hadn't actually read the book when they commissioned the cover photo. Incidentally there is a trailer for "The Fly Boys" on the inside cover, as Stan's next big project about high-flying capers on supersonic jets!

  • Cover Notes

 TOBIN'S A REAL STRAIGHT SHOOTER! Tobin should've stayed in scorching Miami where Evie, the 40-23-36 owner of a sex supermarket insisted that Russ help her test the stock. In the interests of science, of course. But a mysterious package thrust at him in the night train to New York starts a series of hair-raising capers in which Tobim mixes with rival New York gangs, some classy diamond smugglers and an enterprising tennis ace, Buzz Malone. And that's before the train reaches New York. TOBIN'S In TROUBLE - BUT HE HAD IT COMING!! One way and the other, Tobin spends most of this adventure horizontal - in a spooky gothic amnsion and notably with Slinky Linka, whose physique and prowess makes Cat Woman seem like a girl guide. BUT TOBIN'S NO INNOCENT ABROAD...HE CAN HOLD HIS OWN...AND RUSS, WE'RE GUNNING FOR YOU!

  • Brief Description of the Plot

 In terms of PLOT this is probably the GREATEST of all the Tobin novels - a shame though that the cover notes mention diamond smugglers as the reader (and in fact Tobin) doesn't actually discover this part of the plot until very near the end (more evidence that the sub-editors at Mayflower hadn't actually read the book). In fact the blurb also gives away the secret of what Evie's supermarket stocks - which Russ doesn't learn until page 44.

Anyway - the book begins on 20th December (Russ is now 26), the last of Russ's 4 days in Miami (he has a twin city break booked - 4 nights in Miami and 6 in New York City, although he cuts the latter part short). Technically it's Russ's second visit to Miami after he accidentally (and illegally) arrived their by boat half-way through his 2 week stay in Nassau. Stan doesn't mention that previous transgression and we never find out exactly what happened (I guess it can't have involved any love interest, so was surplus to the story requirements!) but it's easy to falsely assume that this book picks up where the last one left off. Russ does however confirm that he just spent 2 weeks in Nassau so he must have been reptariated by the Border Force to complete his Nassau stay!

Anyway, Russ takes the midnight train from Miami to New York (a long old journey which took just over a day back then on the Amtrack "Silver Meteor" service) and accidentally receives a package which starts a chain of events whereby he meets Buzz Malone - an Australian Tennis Ace en route to Canada for a tournament, a new buddy who will travel with Tobin for the next 4 books-worth of adventure.

Once they escape the train at Penn Station, Russ and Buzz stay at the New Central Hotel on West 44th St (which if it ever existed back then I can't find any evidence of it. The fact that it's later referred to as the New CENTURY Hotel tells me that Stan just made it up)

The night they arrive they immediately head straight out to meet up with a couple of Buzz's lady friends, and attend the obligatory party (which is reminscent of the one Joe Buck attends in Midnight Cowboy) before retiring to...ahem..bed. The next day they attempt to solve the ownership of the mystery package which ends in a midnight car chase to Niagara Falls and the Canadian Border. Nicky the Cabbie says is "about 200 miles" - but in real life is at least double that distance. Quite how they arrive in Toronto at 5am having left Manhattan at half past midnight is anyone's guess, especially as they spend quite a while at the checkpoint tipping off the police about their pursuers. The story ends on the day before Christmas Eve with Russ somehow deciding that he's nearly broke, and therefore willing to take any temporary job going - which comes in the form of "Hire-A-Guy" and a job playing Santa Claus in the local shopping mall on Christmas Eve! Hard to understand how Russ can be so broke when he had such riches at his disposal before he headed to Nairobi, and spent a year there in paid employment. He can't have spent it all in Nassau can he? He barely spends a cent during his Miami/NYC stay! I think the implication is that he has money back in England, but can't immediately access it whilst travelling the world. Easy to forget that you didn't used to be able to chip up to any cash machine anywhere and withdraw your money!

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first eyes up a lady

 Russ has a quick trip on the Fort Lauderdale ferry before he gets the New York train - here, and on Page 17 - he enthusiastically describes the ladies he encounters. Interestingly, Stan mentions the super-rich abodes of Fort Lauderdale in the previous book (Tobin in Paradise) too, and of course goes on to set his novel "Too Rich To Live" in that same environment.

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first gets to know a lady in the biblical sense

 Page 52 - Russ gets to grips with Evie Shumaker - the highly sexed owner of a "sex supermarket" in Miami. Later on he gets jiggy with Slinky Linka at a party in Greenwich Village

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first drinks a Vodka Tonic

 Russ enjoys a cold beer on Page 6, but after two beers he decides it's time to go on to the shorts. The barman Hi Low knows Russ well enough to pour him a Vodka Tonic without prompting.

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first reminisces about a previous adventure

  Page 27 - Russ tells Evie all about his travels and that he is "investigating life". That what you call it mate?

  • Serious points raised

 Less of the serious points and more of the out-right ACTION ADVENTURE!

  • Rating on the MORGANOMETER

 Officially Gary's favourite Tobin book - and possibly mine too (if only because part of the fun takes place in New York - my favourite city). Great plot - and the first to feature top Tobin buddy - Buzz Malone. 11/10!!