The Last Time I Saw Hell (The Inquisitor #2)
Dell Books, New York, 1974.
Mass Market Paperback (another find from my late, great Aunt’s closet.)
Xavier Francis “Frank” Killy is a former CIA agent . . . who works for the Catholic Church . . . as an Inquisitor?
If you think that the idea of a James Bond-esque spy who works for the Holy Office of the Inquisition sounds a bit . . . whacky? . . . well, you’d be right. The good thing here is that no one, including Simon Quinn (aka Martin Cruz Smith, using one of his early pseudonyms) makes the mistake of taking things too seriously. The result is a heck of a lot of fun: a tightly-plotted adventure in which Killy takes on a Nazi collaborator who has reinvented himself as a French national and is poised to take over the French Government. There’s plenty of action and a bizarre finale that moves this just over into the line into “horror” turf.
Plus, there's that rockin' cover.
This is number two in a series of paperbacks that Smith penned about Killy back in the early seventies. Word is they are all pretty good—and based on this sample I’d agree. The Midas Coffin (#5 in the series, sporting a cover reminiscent of Goldfinger) even grabbed an Edgar nom back in the day.
Here are a few links if you are interested in learning more about Killy and Quinn's six-book Inquisitor series.