Rediscovered: The Latest “Doc Savage”

Brian Leno said he was going to read the new James Patterson “Doc Savage” novel — and he dood it:

A few days ago my mail carrier dropped off The Perfect Assassin, the new novel by the writing team of James Patterson and Brian Sitts. The cover proclaims: “A Doc Savage Thriller.”

It appears that Clark Savage, Jr., didn’t spend all his time fooling around with his crime fighting pals, but also raised a family. The Doc Savage this book concerns is the original Doc’s great-grandson, Dr. Brandt Savage.

I approached it with some trepidation. The same authors gave us a revamped Shadow about a year ago and that novel was pretty bad. So bad it now languishes somewhere in my basement, never to be opened again.

I didn’t think this book would be any better and to prepare myself I reread The Polar Treasure and The Thousand-Headed Man, just to get a little authentic pulp Savage back in my blood.

I figured it wouldn’t be as good as Lester Dent’s Doc, and it wasn’t — but it was far better than Patterson’s Shadow. 

It’s a fast-paced thriller and won’t take up too much of your day. The chapters are short and the writing isn’t exactly attention demanding. We’re not dealing with James Joyce here.

In a nutshell, the book relates the tribulations Brandt encounters as Kira Sunlight trains him to become the perfect assassin to assist her in her plans of ridding the world of some awful mean bad guys.

Kira is the great-granddaughter of arch fiend John Sunlight, who appeared in a couple of Doc pulps. Everything seems to fit, doesn’t it?

While I enjoyed the book it was really just the typical thriller that hits the bookstores these days, no weird elements, no lost cities, nothing that sparks the reader in a journey back to the days of pulp magazines.

Read it if you enjoy the James Rollins or Clive Cussler novels, but don’t expect to find Doc or any of the imaginative antics of the “Kenneth Robeson” writing crew.

While I know I should never say never, now I’m done with Patterson’s Doc Savage, should new adventures arise. I’ll stick to rereading the real Doc, and enjoy the antics of Ham and Monk and that ever resourceful porker Habeas Corpus.

Nostalgia. The older I get I realize just how important that is.

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