|Alec Baldwin as the Shadow in the '93 film|
WHO IS THE SHADOW? By day, he's Lamont Cranston, multi-millionaire and by night, he's the Shadow. The Shadow appeared in radio in the 1930s and then in a long running pulp magazine series, in comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five movies, the latest of which came out in 1993 and featured Alec Baldwin as the Shadow (which we liked). (You can see the movie trailer here: http://youtu.be/h0mk2cdU4ms)
The radio drama is well-remembered for those episodes voiced by Orson Welles. He was trained in Tibet in the art of melting into the shadows (thus, the name) and hypnotism. He also carried twin pistols to fight the underworld.
THE BOOK: THE SHADOW: THE CRIME CULT
So, now that you know who he is and his history, you know why I like reading about him. I picked up the book 'The Shadow: The Crime Cult" #6 in an old, out of print series. It was written by Maxwell Grant, who wrote all the Shadow paperbacks. I've read others before, and liked them. This story, however, didn't really hold my interest because there were a lot of characters, and there was a connection between mobsters and a weird crime cult of India descent, that didn't make much sense to me. I usually give only great reviews (and don't give bad ones), because every book has it's audience. But as a Shadow fan, this story just didn't do it for me like Grant's other stories.
BOOK SUMMARY: The marks of death were upon them. A mysterious round burn no bigger than a dime scarred each forehead; upon each throat was a thin, almost invisible white line. The police were baffled, but each of the victims knew that his time was up and his page in the book of death had come due. It was obviously a case for THE SHADOW but the most famous crime fighter of all was missing! Where was the Master of Darkness? Had he finally succumbed to his brilliant adversary, the High Priest of the Cult of Kali? The evil genius who had infiltrated New York's underworld like a disease was now determined to destroy the last obstacle in his mad lunge for total power: THE SHADOW!