America’s Undercover Ace in new paperback form!
Operator 5 #2 The Invisible Empire by Fredrick C Davis writing as Curtis Steel
First appearing in 1934, Operator 5 was Jimmy Christopher, a young member of the Secret Service often known as the most valuable agent in the United States. Christopher is strangely known to be Operator 5, yet maintains a secret identity as Carlton Victor, photographer to the rich and famous. The character is complete with studio, apartment, and even a butler named Crowe!
Recurring characters include Operator 5’s dad, former agent John Christopher, his twin sister Nan, sidekick kid Tim Donavan, Nan’s boyfriend Nick, Jimmy’s girlfriend Diane Elliot, his boss Z-7 and others.
Most of the stories involve the United States being attacked on the home front by various foreign armies, sometimes with A results.
The Invisible Empire was published in May 1934
Planes are falling from the sky with gashes that look like claw marks. A piolet is found frozen solid at the controls of a plane that he apparently landed! A man and his boat vanish, the boat showing up one place and the frozen body of the man over a hundred miles away!
What kind of power lurks in the clouds? Why can none of the United States’ planes or anti-aircraft batteries come close to returning the death from the sky?
Jimmy Christopher hears whispers about Atlantis. But this one isn’t a lost island in the Atlantic. It is something in the sky, something almost beyond imagination. And something in the control of the Yellow Empire, currently at war with the US.
This second adventure I think is better than the first. The Atlantis is just the kind of war machine I would expect the pulps to come up with. The hidden villain isn’t as hidden, but the writing is better.
I give it four and ½ stars.
Quoth the Raven…