Jun. 21, 2019

Volume five in this latest Spider series!

The Spider #5 Empire of Doom by Norvell Page writing as Grant Stockbridge

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…

Empire of Doom

This story was originally published February 1934 in the Spider Magazine

A new crime lord has risen, one who calls himself “The Green Hand.” Entire cities are being held hostage, with stupendous amounts asked for ransom! Should the money not be paid, a dreadful death is unleashed. It is a thick, green gas that is death to breathe and on contact, it eats away flesh like acid! The Spider is helpless against the gas unless something can be found to nullify it.

One man seems able to counteract the poisonous fog, heading a small army using giant fans to disperse the clouds of gas. Failure to call him in on a case means certain death! To many embattled cities, he seems godlike and a savior! The question is why he alone can battle the gas even if others are armed with similar fans…

The story follows a line often used in pulp fiction, but it does it brilliantly. The story moves well, with any number of red herrings and concealed plots. The climax is a bit predictable yet remains enjoyable.

I give this novel four stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here directly from Altus Press!