“Escape From Alcatraz”, from the April 1946 issue of G-MEN DETECTIVE, is another of the Dan Fowler stories that’s available on-line. It was published a couple of issues after “Diamonds Across the Atlantic”, also written by Edward Churchill, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
I thought that other Churchill story was okay, but “Escape From Alcatraz” is
considerably better. It opens with the escape of the title, as gangster Killer
Joe Boyd makes a successful getaway from the Rock and then disappears. The FBI,
represented by our heroes Inspector Dan Fowler and Special Agent Larry Kendal,
tracks him to a small town in Washington state not far from the Canadian
border. Fowler and Kendal take off for the Pacific Northwest while Special
Agent Sally Vane tries to track down the escaped killer’s girlfriend.
Then Churchill springs a nice twist in the plot pretty early on, and the case takes on a broader sweep that involves police corruption, smuggling, and a missing fortune in cash and negotiable bonds.
“Escape From Alcatraz” reads like a fairly realistic law enforcement procedural at times, although there are plenty of shootouts and fistfights and chase scenes along the way, too. Churchill certainly doesn’t forget that his story is being published in a pulp. His style is a little flat at times, but he keeps things moving along at an entertaining clip. Also, it’s hard not to like the trio of Fowler, Kendal, and Vane. They’re not exactly Perry Mason, Paul Drake, and Della Street, but a little of that same camaraderie comes through at times.
I read the e-book version of the Fowler story and don’t own the pulp, but as you can see, the cover is a good one and actually represents the lead novel pretty well. There are some good authors with stories in there, too, including Roger Torrey, Norman A. Daniels, and Robert Sidney Bowen. If you happen to have a copy of this one, it ought to be worth pulling down from the shelf and reading. Or you can find the whole thing on the Internet Archive here.
Terrific cover. Nice review. Thanks for the archive link. The Torrey story also looks like a good one. I'm sure the others are as well. Anxious to check them out.
Post a Comment