052 12/36 The Vanisher

Chuck Welch
December 12, 1996 - 1936 / bama / Bantam 049-060 / harris / nanovic / novel / pulp

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Twenty convicts vanished without a trace from maximum security cells, and top businessmen suddenly disappeared. The tabloids trumpeted the reign of a small, deformed man — or woman — spotted at the scenes. Strangely, Doc Savage was framed for the disappearances — and then the murders … But the Horrible Hunchback hadn’t counted on the wrath of the mighty Man of Bronze!

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  1. I loved the spectral overtones of the opening chapters. The cover is superb and this has always been a favorite. Some dropped plot threads and bungled science but what the heck–a rousing adventure all the same!

  2. Paul Cook says:

    This is one of the best science fiction-based Docs and one of the last REALLY great Doc novels. after this point, in 1937, they start to lag (though a few good ones are yet to come). I liked the pulp cover and the Bama cover . . . except for the stick in the bad guy’s hand has a creepy phallic shape to it. (Was this intentional or am I just being a bit Freudian?) Great story, though.

  3. Mark Carpenter says:

    Late in the series, just when you think Dent is officially out of ideas, he offers up a Doc classic like “The Vanisher.” The author is running on all pistons here with a crisp plot, lots of great action, a totally unforgettable villain and bad-guy device that is more fun than any other gadget in the whole canon.
    If they ever make a second Doc movie, this would be the perfect story to base it on.

  4. Rjcord says:

    A great read! At first, I wondered if this was actually written by Dent – it has a few un-Dentian touches and a rather quirky style – but subsequent research on my part has shown that, yep, Dent did indeed write it. And what a yarn he has given us! The Horrible Hunchback is one of the more memorable villians in the Saga, up there with the best of ’em. Four and a half stars.

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