New York’s news hawks work overtime in a flurry of flashbulb explosions as they clamor for the scoop on the insidious wave of bodies turning up around the city, all struck dead, eyes turned an unseeing white — the Blind Death! As police riot guns and gangland tommy guns turn the winter snows of Manhattan scarlet, Doc Savage, man of mystery, giant of bronze, discovers that the mysterious plague is the result of an audacious scheme to unite all of New York’s criminal elements against him. Their evil goal — to seize the fabled Mayan wealth of the Man of Bronze.
The world thought aviator Tom Franklin was dead. Years before, he had set out on a pioneering transpacific flight alone — and vanished. When he returned, as if from the dead, he and a mysterious woman flew a battered plane that had been repaired with plates of pure gold. Desperately seeking the help of Doc Savage, the mighty Man of Bronze, Franklin and his curvaceous charge fall into the clutches of the diamond smuggler Blackbird Hinton and his cutthroat crew — but not before the bronze adventurer hears of their difficulty. There ensues a quest as dangerous as any in recorded history. One that will embroil the compassionate yet hard-fisted Doc Savage and his men in a raging battle for control of one of history’s most closely guarded mysteries. The lost secret of Python Isle!
From an interview with Will Murray:
How detailed are the outlines Lester Dent left behind?
They varied. The first one, “Python Isle,” was the only complete outline that was completely rejected and never used. It was I think 10, 12 pages long, in chapters, so that was a joy to work with. In fact, that was the first novel I ever wrote. Sometimes the premises are as short as a page or even a paragraph. I think I have one that’s just a paragraph long, but it’s a good paragraph. It’s an interesting paragraph. It’s a provocative thing, and then I’d have to build from that.
A brilliant supervillain has dreamed up the ultimate secret weapon … a desperate masterstroke that will assure victory for the Kaiser — or obliterate mankind from the face of the earth! Young Clark Savage and his team come together for the first time in this action-packed saga of World War I. Though only sixteen, he’s the real Doc — hard fisted, cerebral, the compassionate Man of Bronze. Shot down behind enemy lines. Captured by a German baron and his exotic mistress. Escaped. Recaptured. Finally imprisoned in escape-proof salt mines — where the baron’s experiments on human guinea pigs could result in a sinister weapon of total destruction. It’s Doc’s young mind against evil’s keenest intellect. And unless Doc wins, the war could end for the Allies — in a blaze of genocidal fury!