"'You think life can't be like the pulps?' Walter Gibson asked the other man."
"Ravaged by the devastation of the Great Depression, America turned to the pulp novels for relief, for hope, for heroes.
And the pulps delivered in spades.
The science fiction story, the hard-boiled detective, and the superhero were all born on these cheap yellow pages, found behind blood-drenched covers dripping with sex and violence. Return now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, enter at your own risk into the dark and dank lair known as the White Horse Tavern, and meet Walter Gibson, the mind behind The Shadow, and Lester Dent, creator of Doc Savage, as they challenge one another to discover what is real and what is pulp.
For Gibson, writing a new novel about The Shadow every month is a way to evade his own dark past. For his rival, Dent, creating Doc Savage is an attempt to bring the light of better days to desperate millions. In their lives and loves they are different from one another as the the heroes they've created. But now the hideous murder of the fringe pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft -- victim of a mysterious death that literally makes the skin crawl -- will set these two men on a collision course with each other, and face to face with a terrifying and very real evil that could have sprung from the pages of their own pulps.
From the palaces and battlefields of warlord-plagued China to the seedy water fronts of Providence, Rhode Island; from frozen seas and cursed islands to the labyrinthine tunnels and secret temples of New York's Chinatown, Dent and Gibson will find themselves in a dangerous race to stop a madmen destined to create a new empire of pure evil. Together with the young pulp writer L. Ron Hubbard, a mysterious stranger, and a sexy psychic with a chicken, they will finally step out from behind their creations to take part in a heroic journey far greater than any story they have imagined. Their quest will force Gibson to look beyond the shadows and discover the true evil that lurks in the hearts of men, while Dent will learn that the nature of a true hero is not found in a fictional superman, but in the faith of the woman who challenges death itself to love him.
The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril is a swashbuckling, breathtaking romantic epic of magic and love, marriage and fatherhood, ambition and loss, and writers who never forget their deadlines even when facing the end of the world. In its pages is a tale that deftly weaves the lives of its real-life characters into a lie of outrageous proportions that just may tell the truth, but is always thrillingly, unapologetically pulp." -- from the inside flap
While the plot sometimes got confusing, I enjoyed this thriller featuring the creators of The Shadow and Doc Savage. I especially liked the interactions between Gibson, Dent and Hubbard.
Date read: 11/11/2008
Book #: 79
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
# of Pages: 367