099a 09/43 Hell Below

Chuck Welch
September 9, 2003 - 1943 / Bantam 097-108 / larkin / nanovic / novel / pulp / stein

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A mad refugee from Hitler’s crumbling Reich has set up a powerful fortress in Mexico. The plan? Capture Doc Savage and bring him by submarine to the desert hideout … enlist his aid in carrying out the “New Effort” — the one that will succeed where Hitler failed!

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  1. Thomas Fortenberry says:

    Hell Below is one of the war time tales, though its theme could just as well be post-WWII because it involves some rogue Nazis (Der Hasse and Der Seehund) trying to set up a new Reich, or new criminal empire at least, in the Americas. They have a sub, a fortified ranch, their weapons and henchmen soldiers, and are ready to go. But, alas, there’s always Doc Savage.

    As usual it has some truly tense action (I’ve discussed some of this book on the newsgroup in the past and won’t repeat it here), but overall it is a kind of simple story that doesn’t shine. Kind of been there, done that.

    There is a moment near the end, which is a typical Monk style scene, when someone throws a rock past Doc against his wishes at two feuding crime bosses and causes them to erupt and start shooting. Murder one. The old rawhide Too Too Thomas who wrangled the whole gang into this mystery, via kidnapping no less, is revealed as the rock thrower. “You murdering old scamp,” Monk said. “Come over here, pop, and let me shake your hand.” Now that’s classic Monk. If he’s not murdering them himself, he’ll praise the one who does.

    Thomas Fortenberry

  2. Scott Kimball says:

    This one was really slow and bland for the first half. It picked up in the second half, but by then I had lost my interest. If it didn’t involve Doc, it wouldn’t be worth reading.

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