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Seeking a pulp action paperback that I perused in an American bookstore in the early- to mid-80s, most likely in the same section as the Mack Bolan Executioner books. Not one of the post-apocalyptic books; more probably an action/espionage/mercenary thriller type, though it had sci-fi elements.

The main thing I remember:

  • The protagonist has to go through some sort of death maze challenge (in the generic sense, not the PKD Maze of Death)
  • At a key point, he's sliding through a chute and hits a junction where he has to choose between two paths.
  • At the last moment, he notices that one chute is studded with razors, so he chooses the other.
  • The chute ends in a room, with either a view or a message explaining that

The other chute would have dumped him into a tank of sharks (or piranhas or similar), and notes "and you are bleeding."

From the room, he's able to dress his current wounds and proceed.

I don't know what happens after that or how the death maze fit into the larger plot.

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  • I've read this, but it was soo long ago...
    – DavidW
    Dec 7, 2023 at 0:20
  • Of course I managed to forget to use the story id tag on this. Thanks for the edit.
    – Joelogon
    Dec 7, 2023 at 1:06
  • Perhaps it was a reprint of Ian Fleming's James Bond novel, "Doctor No"? In this novel bond must navigate such a maze, which includes high heat, tarantulas, and a giant squid. Dec 7, 2023 at 15:23
  • @StanleyWebb I thought it might be Dr No, but I checked my copy and no razor blades.
    – Moriarty
    Dec 7, 2023 at 21:24
  • @moriarty I was thinking that Fleming wasn't nearly pulpy or cheesy enough to be this.
    – Joelogon
    Dec 8, 2023 at 1:16

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