This is a very cool book on several levels.
First, of course, it’s a new Doc Savage adventure - the first since 1993 - and it’s a corker.
But for hardcore Doc fans like me, it’s a special treat because it furthers the legacy of both Lester Dent and James Bama.
In a revealing Afterword (exclusive to the deluxe hardcover edition), Murray explains how this novel came to be, and it's fascinating stuff. Delving deep into Dent’s papers, he discovered unpublished scenes, and even whole chapters, written and discarded from earlier Doc adventures, primarily Red Snow and The Derrick Devil. Combining those chapters with ideas and springboards from several other Dent stories, Murray was able to craft an all-new story that’s as close to a new Dent Doc as we’re ever likely to get.
A second Afterword (also only in the hardcover), details the Bama connection, as told by cover artist Joe DeVito. As a result of painting the covers for Will Murray’s seven Doc originals published by Bantam in the early 90s, DeVito became friends with James Bama himself. When the call came to produce new covers for this Altus Press revival, Mr. Bama (now in his 80s and still a Doc fan) provided him with photos of his long-time Doc model, Steve Holland. So the Doc gracing the cover of The Desert Demons is the real deal, in the much-admired Bama tradition.
An added attraction is that much of the action revolves around the Hollywood film industry of 1936. Fun stuff. I especially enjoyed having Monk decked out in cowboy duds and riding a cayuse. And when the action moves to California, we get to see Doc battle an alligator à la Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie.
Bottom Line: You don’t want to miss this kickoff of the WILD Adventures of Doc Savage. It’s available now in both paperback and signed hardcover direct from Altus Press, and will soon be offered in eBook formats too. Click HERE to order!