May. 5, 2019

Two novel-length adventures of pulpdom’s violent knight!

The Spider Pulp Doubles #18  

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

The Spider and the Slaves of Hell

Wentworth’s fortress home is blown up. A warning has enabled the Spider to escape, but he is wanted for the deaths of policemen who died in the explosion.

With no warning at all people explode violently. There are wolves loose in the street. A mild-looking man in an old-fashioned suit and derby hat acts for the hidden leader, known only as “he…”

This story was straightforward as to the crime and the methods. The death toll is shocking, thousands of innocents die. The Spider is without his usual resources, wounded, and almost dies, losing time he cannot afford. I enjoyed this one!

Zara, Master of Murder

The Spider is framed for murder by a man who has some sort of secret weapon that strikes people with an irresistible force. The man calls himself Zara, but the notes he sends the police are signed Iskander.

Using a combination of his device that weakens men’s resolve and hypnotism, Zara quickly gains control of the underworld. From there he moves to take the city, gaining control of the Mayor. Even Kirkpatrick falls to mental control. And worse, Zara even makes Nita give up the secrets of the Spider…

This one was a little further out than the first story. The methods used by Zara tiptoe the line between something that could have happened and something totally fictional. But that is the beauty of pulp fiction. It is full throttle action! I think it works under those rules…

I give both stories four stars…

Quoth the Raven…