|I finished reading THE SILENT SEVEN last night. THE SILENT SEVEN was the seventh Shadow pulp novel published way back in February 1932. The edition I read (pictured above) is the Pyramid Books reprint from the early 1970s. It was the tenth Shadow novel reprinted by Pyramid and it sports a terrific cover by Jim Steranko (as you can see).|
This early Shadow adventure finds him battling a crime ring that calls itself The Silent Seven. All seven members wear hooded robes and their identities are unknown to each other. You can tell that Walter Gibson (aka Maxwell Grant) was still developing both the character of The Shadow and the mythos surrounding him at this early stage of the character's career. Early in the novel, The Shadow appears undisguised to a man (who is later murdered) and the two have a discussion of the clues left behind in a previous murder. It's almost like a conversation between Holmes and Watson!
There's plenty of action including rooftop gun battles, car chases and a battle to the death with a giant of a man. Harry Vincent, one of the Shadow's most trusted agents, is captured in what has to be the slowest death trap (it takes days for the ceiling to descend) ever in pulp fiction. And Gibson still doesn't know the difference between an automatic pistol and a revolver as he uses the terms interchangeably to describe the same weapon in the same paragraph!
THE SILENT SEVEN is a good, early Shadow adventure that's well worth your time if you're a pulp fan.