The Purple Eye by William Corcoran
Trade Paperback – Murania Press – Oct 2015 – 187 pages
This wildly melodramatic thriller, originally published in the August 1933 issue of Dime Mystery Magazine, provided the template for countless pulp-hero novels published during the Thirties. Depression-era readers craved outlandish menaces to take their minds off their troubles, and The Purple Eye was at the top of the list.
The Eye, maniacal criminal mastermind and leader of the ancient death cult known as the Brotherhood of Baktuun, terrorizes New York City with a series of high-profile murders accomplished by mysterious means. Seven million souls are at his mercy as his outrages mount in dizzying succession. The police, constrained by legal niceties and endless red tape, seem powerless to thwart his mad schemes. Enter Wayne Saxon, millionaire sportsman and world traveler, who devotes his life to running the Eye to earth. He works within the law when possible, but without it when necessary. Will he succeed? There’s a thrill on every page of this baffling mystery.
Shawn Danowski’s introduction, “In the Days Before the Undressed Dames and Drooling Dwarves,” is adapted from his history of Dime Mystery in its early, pre-weird menace phase, an article written for the fanzine Purple Prose.
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