This Shadow adventure is a clear departure from all other published Shadow stories up to this time. While Shadow fans will recognize many of the names and places from previous stories, they will also see that things have changed and this story was set in a contemporary setting (1960s).
In this story, The Shadow investigates the death of a man named Anton Pavlic. While the police claim Pavlic died as a result of accidental murder (he was hit by a car!), The Shadow knows there is something more sinister behind the simple facts. His investigation leads to the unveiling of a blackmail scheme being run by an organization that, on the front, was set up to help refugees from communism.
The Shadow drives a Jaguar. It is a small, custom-built car with a supercharged engine. It is also equipped with a car telephone!
|1964 Jaguar - could this be The Shadow's?|
|1964 Car Phone|
I did a little research and was amazed to find that in 1964 there were over 1 million Americans using car telephones! Above is an example of a 1964 car phone, but I'm sure The Shadow's was more high-tech than what you would buy over the counter!
As I mentioned, there are familiar faces and places in this Shadow story. We have Lamont Cranston visiting the Cobalt Club. Cranston is a good friend of Police Commissioner Weston, and in this story Cranston assists Detective Joe Cardona. All of these characters and places are straight from The Shadow pulp and radio stories.
The Shadow also has a team of agents that assist him, just as he did in the pulps. But again, there are some updates and changes. Here are The Shadow's agents from The Shadow Strikes:
Stanley: Stanley is The Shadow's chauffer and is an ex-police officer. He carries an automatic, handcuffs and lock picks. (Stanley was Lamont Cranston's chauffer in the pulp magazines.)
Burbank: Burbank is the hub of The Shadow's team as agents report to Burbank and Burbank reports to The Shadow.
Shrevvy: Shrevvy is described as a small, peppy taxi driver. He assists The Shadow with transportation needs.
Clyde Burke: Clyde is a reporter as well as friend and associate of The Shadow.
Margo Lane: Margo is described as dark-haired and slim. She is the private secretary of Lamont Cranston as well as a friend and operative of The Shadow. Margo is from Denver, Colorado and was a theater major in college. She goes under cover to assist The Shadow in this story.
Unlike the pulp magazines, The Shadow's agents listed above all know his identity and are a part of his crime fighting organization. I'll write more about The Shadow in an upcoming article!
This was an exciting and well-written story. While it was a departure from the historic Shadow character, I liked it as a new iteration of The Shadow. It wasn't quite the page-turning adventure I enjoy from Walter B. Gibson, but it was a fun and entertaining book to read.
In an upcoming article I will write extensively about The Shadow in this story and highlight his character, gadgets and abilities. I hope you've enjoyed this brief look at The Shadow Strikes!!!