Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear

The second book in the Gabriel Hunt series was told to Charles Ardai by Hunt (as Hunt explains in an short coda), though like all the books it's published as by Gabriel Hunt himself. The idea of the series is to provide pulp adventure in a modern setting, and Through the Cradle of Fear delivers. It's pretty much non-stop action, with Hunt jumping off a cliff, zipping through the streets of New York in a harrowing cab chase, stowing away in a packing crate and winding up in the shadow of the Great Sphinx, escaping on camel back, and so on. Talk about one damned thing after another!

The villain in this one, Legor DeGroet, might be 70 years old, but you wouldn't want to get on his lawn. He's a former Olympic medalist, and he carries a sword cane. He's still a brilliant fencer, too, as Hunt knows well. He's after the secret of the Sphinx, and he pursues Hunt (and a beautiful, scholarly woman named Sheba) from Egypt to Greece to Turkey to Sri Lanka as Hunt follows the clues and unravels the mystery. Descendants of Homer. Ancient evil. Secrets passed down for thousands of years. Hired assassins. It's all here between the covers.

But wait! There's more! Ardai throws in a bonus short story, not featuring Hunt but written in the pulp tradition. "Nor Idolatry Blind the Eye" is desert adventure about a former soldier, now a drunk trying to forget the death of his wife, recruited to find the fabled Golden Calf of the Old Testament. It's a fast-moving story with a memorable ending.

You can read Dan Brown if you want to. I'll stick to Gabriel Hunt.


Gerard said...

I did not read the description of the plot since I'll read it later. But, Ardai does good work. I'm looking forward to Christa Faust's entry.

Richard Robinson said...

Sound like a hell of a lot of fun!