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Title: The Shadow Laughs
Series: The Shadow #3
Authors: Maxwell Grant
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
A duel with Evil
When an innocent man is murdered under strange circumstances and a crack police detective is lured to his death, The Shadow sees the signs of a vicious plot. He uncovers a ruthless gang of counterfeiters, led by the most powerful and diabolical man in New York’s underworld.
Harry Vincent is sent in to investigate, the Shadow gets shot and eventually Eeeeeeevil is brought to justice.
Yeah, I liked this. I liked the brevity of the story. But it didn’t feel short. It felt just right. Thrills and chills and action and guns, bad bad guys, doofus good guy minions and a brilliant leader. It’s kind of a mix and match hodgepodge of elements that will work together no matter what order you put them in.
These are reminding me of Louis L’amour and his westerns (these obviously came first but I didn’t read them first). And if you look at the numbers, you can see that this write by numbers approach can work and work well. Lamour was writing his stories up until he died and Grant churned out over 300 stories about the Shadow. It’s pulp and it’s good.
It’s not going to work for everyone but if you’ve felt the need of a good old fashioned action story without a moral message telling you what you should be thinking/doing, then at least give the Shadow stories a try. If you don’t like the first couple, then it’ll be a safe bet the Shadow isn’t for you and you’ll know it. But you won’t know unless you try.