Indiana Jones And The Sky Pirates
by Martin Caidin
1930. A billion dollars worth of diamonds is stolen from a South African train, then hijacked en route to Germany by a force operating a fantastic flying machine. Included in the heist was an enigmatic cube rumored to be ancient. However, the cube is all part of a plan put together, in part, by Indiana Jones, famed archeologist and adventurer. Together, with his band of assistants, Indy is off on another world-wide chase to discover the identity of the pirates of the sky.
This is my first story I’ve read about Indiana Jones. Of course, I’ve seen all the movies and enjoy the character. This reads, however, like one of the old Doc Savage stories from the 1930s/40s. It has the same quality of adventure.
Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones, Jr.: archeologist, professor at the University of London, widower, on sabbatical from Princeton as a professor of Medieval Literature and Studies, uses a whip
Willard ‘Madman’ Cromwell: Royal Flying Corps squadron commander in World War I, fluent in several languages, drinker, portly but muscled, scar on one arm from a friendly fire round as well as other war gotten scars, former member of the Royal Navy, expert in demolitions and weapons, excellent memory, handlebar mustache, smoker
Gale Parker: red hair, ruggedly beautiful, Ph.d in ancient cultures, mother was a Wiccan witch, expert in the ‘black arts’, real name Mirna Abi Kalil, Muslim father, athletic including expertise in jujitsu, archer, expert inweaponry
Tarkiz Belem: Kurd, former pro wrestler and bodyguard, has connections from the Vatican to the gutter dives, exudes an unattractive odor, shrewd but not overly intelligent, multilingual, wanted for crimes in several countries, gold fanatic
Rene Foulois: French, fighter pilot in World War I, tall, slender, thin mustache, wealthy, family is well known vintners, secret agent for the French Foreign Legion
Harry Henshaw: American Colonel in the U.S. Army, in technical intelligence
Jack Shannon: Indy’s long time pal, blues musician, thin, owns a nightclub in Chicago
Again, characters one might expect to see in the Doc Savage stories. Enough information about each to keep them interesting. A nice variety of personalities.
Distinctive voices which you would expect from such a unique cast. Explanatory conversations are broken up to give them a bit of flavor to keep them from being boring.
At the time of this reading, I was trudging through a few books that were okay, but not especially interesting. I was ready for something different. This is the type of adventure story I enjoy, one that helps the reader ‘escape’ into an exciting world of danger and excitement. Lots of action. Again a Doc Savage feel to it with the use of gadgetry and specialized technology. Delicious fact based detail kept me moving through to see what would come next. A well written story using a movie character.