Getting back to reading all the Doc Savage novels I haven’t already read, I recently tackled TERROR WEARS NO SHOES, originally published in the May/June 1948 issue of the magazine DOC SAVAGE, SCIENCE DETECTIVE and reprinted in the final Doc Savage omnibus published by Bantam in 1990, as well as by Nostalgia Ventures in 2008. Like most of Lester Dent’s Doc Savage novels after World War II, this is a hardboiled espionage yarn that discards most of the familiar trappings from earlier in the series and could have worked just about as well with characters other than Doc, Monk, Ham, and Long Tom. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.
Dent springs a late surprise that had me slapping my forehead and saying, “D’oh!” because I should have seen it coming but absolutely didn’t. By this time in the series, his terse writing style is polished diamond-hard and is a joy to read. While the early books with their sweeping plots and swashbuckling sense of adventure will always be my favorites, I’ve come to appreciate these little gems from late in the series, as well. I had a great time reading this one. (By the way, the title has absolutely nothing to do with the story, as far as I could tell.)