The New Adventures of The Eagle (Spy Thriller)
The Eagle originated in the pulp magazines during the 1940s,
and featured American G-2 spy, Jeff Shannon, known to the world of espionage as
The Eagle. This volume contains six brand new adventures of the characters by
new pulp writers.
“Lights! Camera! Sabotage!” by Bobby Nash is a simple plot
involving sabotage of secret military installations conducting classified
experiments. The sabotage occurs during the filming of a movie studio nearby,
and one of the members is suspected of being a spy. Naturally they call The
Eagle back from Europe to handle the case (?).
Well written and interesting, but weak. Anyone could have
uncovered the spy, even a Hollywood detective. The author uses a lot of popular
phrases that add nothing to the story in my opinion. Although, Nazis are
mentioned, and it’s obvious the story takes place during WWII, one of the
actresses is wearing a bikini. Bikinis were not introduced until 1946, so I may
be wrong about the time period. I won’t even discuss The Eagle’s escape from a
locked room filled with gasoline fumes (from barrels of petrol) by exploding
small charges against the door! But a fun read, nevertheless.
“A Black Friday In Australia” by Lee Houston, Jr. In 1939
The Eagle is sent to Australia by request of their government, but while en
route, he discovers an Axis agent on board the ship and uncovers a dangerous
plot. Germany has set up Safe Harbor in Australia, where their ships and
submarines can dock for refuel and supplies. The Eagle is captured, but a huge
brush fire is spreading over this part of Australia, and the Germans have to
abandon the Site as the fire approaches. Jeff Shannon is left to die, but
escapes and trails them on a motorcycle. The fire eventually catches everyone
but The Eagle.
Well written, but a one-dimensional plot, and with characters
you don’t really care for. The author relies on an actual event – the brush
fire of 1939 that destroyed so much area of Australia. Still, a fun read, even
with the minor faults.
“The Melting Skin” by Ashley Mangin.
The basic plot has to do with Germany
inventing a radio wave that melts the skin. But this is a ruse, as an American
gangster intends to steal plans from England’s work on the atomic bomb. The
Eagle rushes from an America beach to England to France, to Germany – in the
matter of paragraphs, then returns to England with his report, but discovers that
the enemy has been aware of his every move. He had really been set up, so now
it’s back to France and Germany to catch a couple double agents, and back to
France once more; then he returns to America to pick up two friends to help him
catch the gangster, and then ends up back at the beach.
The plot was terrible, and badly executed. There was really
no “interesting” action to keep a reader involved. I had trouble getting
through the story.
“Fire From The Skies” by R. P. Steeves. A scientist has been
kidnapped in Greece. He was working on a super weapon Germany wanted. Obtaining
his papers, no one could interpret them, so they hoped to use his old love as a
threat against him. Jeff Shannon, aided by his secretary (?) Joan, and a Greek
named Rico go after the kidnapper who has the scientist, hoping to stop him
before they can take him to Germany. There’s quite a bit of action, but The
Eagle is never in any real danger. Regardless of the plot, this seems to be a
minor entry, just moving from one action scene to the next. But the author definitely
keeps the action moving.
“The Coming Storm” by Teel James Glenn.
In the U.S., the Brown Shirts have kidnapped
a scientist and holding him in nearby Camp Nordland in Sussec County, New
Jersey. The FBI has sent in agents, but they were lost, feared murdered by the
Bund. They request from G-2 America’s greatest spy, The Eagle.
Jeff Shannon had once been an amateur
magician, and the Bund is seeking entertainers, which the FBI feels will be a
way to get The Eagle in their camp.
This was a gem of a story. It had a real plot, real
characterization, and good dialogue.
story is set in September 1938, and the hurricane of September 21st
known as the Long Island Express, plays a part in the final scene. Jeff is
assisted by an ex boxer named “Lefty” Kovaks (wonder why there’s never a
“Righty?), who felt he owes his life to the super spy. This is a great read by
a writer who knows pulp fiction.
“Island of Deceit” by Nick Ahlhelm. Germans have infiltrated
a Marine base in the Philippines, with plan to destroy this strategic American
military installation, allowing their Japanese allies to take over the island.
But C.I.A. agent (what happened to G-2?) Jeff Shannon, The Eagle is on the job.
This was another hard story to get through. Basically, the
plot was interesting, but the author lacked the writing ability to pull it off.
I actually wanted to give this a 4-Star rating, but though some
of the stories were readable, there was only one that really deserved high
ranking. A couple should not have been included in the book. I even have to
wonder if any of the writers of this volume ever read an original Eagle story?
It is worth reading, if you have a few hours to kill.