Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Death Tower - Maxwell Grant

A little slow, at times, involving a curse purple sapphire to begin with. The majority of the first half of the book is from the point of view of a new agent of The Shadow, Clyde Burke, and him learning what is going on and who actually has hired him to be a newspaper clipping service.

The antagonist is a particularly nasty piece of work, a Doctor Palermo that likes to collect brains, and from subjects that have neglected to pass away first.

Palermo finally makes a mistake, sending his girlfriend to try and cloud The Shadow's mind, in his George Clarendon identity. Not a good plan, as she is turned.

Harry Vincent appears later, and again manages to get himself captured!

There is quite a bit of point of view action involving the Shadow in the last quarter of the book, he beards the villain in his lair.

Palermo finally makes a mistake. A crooked detective is involved, and a shadowy organisation known as The Silent Seven is introduced.

The game is up for him, then, as even though he captures Vincent, who has been dressed as The Shadow, he reckons without The Shadow's autogiro, and explosive entrance through his window many floors up, to effect a rescue.

Harsh justice for Palermo, given his crimes. He is given the option of confession and suicide, or letting The Shadow shoot him. He chooses the former, stalling for time as The Shadow fires a warning shot.

Purely by happenstance, The Shadow kills Palermo's Chinese bronze dwarf henchman, and has already dealt with his Arab assistant, Hassan. Startled, however, Palermo attacks, and a struggle ensues.

Given how high up they are, Palermo ends with a severe case of defenestration, and with Burbank's assistance again, The Shadow melts into the night.

3.5 out of 5

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