In the Frightened Fish, a man travels around New York city panicking every time he sees a silver fish. The last time he does, it’s in front of the building containing the office of Doc Savage, which sets the Man of Bronze on the trail of a mystery that leads him to post-War Japan and a plot to take over the Earth.
The timing of the book is different from most Savage books, which are set in the 1920s and 30s. This story is set in the heart of the Atomic Age when a whole new slew problems have risen to test the man of Bronze. The story is shorter than the other Doc Savage novels I’ve reviewed, but I think the brevity helps as it gives the tale a bit more focus and the plot builds at a solid pace.
The set up is a bit artificial when you get down to the explanation which adds up to “supervillain ego” mixed the idea of being so desperate to make sure our hero doesn’t foil his plot that the villain reveals it to him. Still, the plot is clever enough, with plenty of intrigue and adventure along the way.
In this story, Doc Savage is a bit more gruff and occasionally abrupt with aides, but he is also a bit more human and relatable as he even falls in love, something that shocks his aides.
Despite its difference, the story remains true to Doc Savage, while also managing to explore many interesting dynamics of the time and featuring a solidly memorable villain. This makes a great read for Doc Savage fans.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0
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