The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril

Paul Malmont, Author . Simon & Schuster $24 (371p) ISBN 978-0-7432-8785-2

Malmont's debut thriller reads like pages torn from the pulp magazines to which it pays nostalgic homage. It's 1937, and the nation's two top pulp writers—William Gibson, author of novels featuring caped crime fighter "The Shadow," and Lester Dent, the creator of do-gooder hero Doc Savage—are trying to solve real-life mysteries that each hopes will give him bragging rights as the world's best yarn spinner. Gibson follows rumors that pulp colleague H.P. Lovecraft was murdered to the fog-shrouded Providence, R.I., waterfront. Dent tracks clues to an impossible killing through the bowels of New York's Chinatown. As the two adventures dovetail, they spawn sinuous subplots involving tong wars, secret chemical warfare, pirate mercenaries, kidnappings, revolution in China and weird science run amok. Lovecraft, L. Ron Hubbard, Louis L'Amour and Chester Himes all play prominent supporting roles and offer piquant observations on the penny-a-word writing life that conjure a colorful sense of time and place. Like the pulpsters he reveres, Malmont doesn't let the facts get in the way of his storytelling, and the result is a fun, if wildly improbable, pulp joyride. 100,000 first printing; author tour. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/10/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-0-7432-8786-9
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-7432-9330-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-09-950733-8
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