Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throne of Satan

Throne of Satan
by James Dark (James Edmond MacDonnell)
Signet Books, 1967

"Today Dominat is the demon scientist who conceived Operation Sugarstrike.  Tomorrow he will be World Emperor...unless Intertrust agent MARK HOOD can wrest him from his volcanic lair."
Opens mopping up from the events of the last novel, Caribbean Striker.  Agent Tommy Tremayne is in the clutches of the villanous Borja.  Mark Hood investigates the sunken ship they were believed to have perished in, and gets in an underwater knife fight.  This is all Mark Hood does the entire novel.

Most of the books slim 128 pages is Tremayne being given the grand tour of the volcano lair of Dominat.  The text is painfully aware that having the villian explain his plot to his captive is cliche, and proceeds to do so anyway without a hint of irony.  There is a great deal of Dominat lording over Tremayne, while at the same time desperate for his approval.  This kind of inferiority complex seemed a bit out of place and heavy handed, until I learned that the title of the original Austrialian printing was Black Napoleon, with the tagline "A black extremist is the quary of spyman Mark Hood". 

Mark Hood, meanwhile, hooks up with a couple of women who both betray him.  One was kind enough to bring him to the volcano lair, which I couldn't figure if Hood even knew existed.  From there, his oriental manservant Murimoto does the fighting for him, the volcano erupts, the end.

Throne of Satan, the seventh in the Mark Hood series of James Bond knock-offs, reads like a fifth grader recapping You Only Live Twice, which was released earlier the same year.

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