177p 09/46 The Exploding Lake

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A lake vanishes in a fireball, a gregarious blonde with an ocelot cub, and a far-off land of mystery spell trouble for Doc and his crew — and finis for the world as we know it.


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  1. Todd Pence

    Now this one was very good, one of the best of the latter shorter novels. Arguably the best Doc story of the year 1946, and it shows how much Harold Davis has matured as a writer since his earlier efforts for the series. The plot takes lots of twists and turns but manages to do so without losing itself in confusion and implausibility (as some Doc stories, as I’m sure we’ll all agree, are wont to do.)
    In addition there are several characters who turn out to be not what they initially appear to be, and even the central mystery of the story that Doc investigates turns out to be quite different from what it seems to be at first. And the head villian is yet another of Doc’s big-wheel Nazi adversaries, which always makes for a corker of a 1940s latter-day Doc Savage novel. The very ending of the story, the last two or three paragraphs, is wonderfully written and makes for one of the great conclusions to a story in the history of the series (and I wonder whether it was Dent or Davis who wrote the ending this way?) I recommend this one as one of the best of the post-war Docs.
    One ironic footnote to “The Exploding Lake”: early in the story, when the character Susie Lane learns that Monk is one of Doc Savage’s associates, she asks “He’s kind of a detective, isn’t he?” Monk replies that he can’t ever recall hearing Doc called a detective before. Of course, very soon after this story came out, the magazine would change its title for a few issues to confer just exactly that designation upon Doc!

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