Credit Ron Goulart, here writing under the name Con Steffenson, with being the best at writing this sort of pointless novelization. His style is entirely readable and he occasionally turns a nice and unexpected phrase. The problem is the source material. While Goulart is not shy about improving Alex Raymond's 40 year old story, there is only so much anybody can do with the plot points and character cliches that addicted Raymond. The result is that while Goulart can improve the story he cannot fix the things that matter most. He was able to change enough to keep some things fresh, but he could not make the plot unpredictable. I gave up after eight chapters.
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