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The Bagman Vs. The World's Fair (Tales of the Bagman) (Volume 2) Paperback – August 26, 2013
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The Bagman Vs The World’s Fair by BC Bell
Francis “Mac” McCullough used to work for “Slots” Lurie as a bagman, a collector of debt by enforcement. Then one day he is sent to break the legs of his own Uncle. And there Mac rebelled. He hid his Uncle where “Slots” couldn’t find him. Then Mac McCullough disappeared.
Soon there was a new masked man in Chicago, a man who called himself “The Bagman”, his mask a simple paper bag. Before long, “Slots” Lurie was found dead in the wreckage of his own Speak-Easy. Evidence left by the Bagman proved that Lurie was guilty of the poisoning death of Mac’s father.
Then Mac surfaced as the proud new owner of Mac’s Tobacco Shop on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. He joined force with an old friend named Antoine :Crankshaft” Jones a former Harlem Hellfighter during the Great War, honored by the French with a Croix de Guerre, their medal of honor. Back in Harlem he was just another black man. So he migrated to Chi-town and opened a mechanic’s shop. Sometimes he wished he had never met Mac, but was nonetheless loyal.
It’s 1933 and Chicago is host to the World’s Fare. With the Great Depression’s stranglehold on the country, the fair ranges from magnificent corporate pavilions showing off the next big thing to a seeder side with rigged carnival games, gambling, and burlesque shows.
And among all the noise and wonder of the fair, a master criminal begins to stretch his reach. He calls himself “Resonance” and people explode when his inventions are pointed their way. He also has near-total silencers for guns, and his plan is to hold Chicago hostage for a million dollars.
From the depths of the world’s fair to the tent of a Gypsy fortune teller, from the seedier side of the carnival to the corporate pavilions, from tramping among the millions at the fair to dropping out of the sky onto a blimp—the Bagman chases Resonance.
The climax takes place in the highest point of the fair as Resonance kills without mercy and the Bagman risks everything to take him out—even risking death by burning or exploding.
BC Bell is a very good up and coming modern Pulp Fiction writer, and in this, the second of his Bagman books he has once again delivered a delicacy of delightful action! I couldn’t give this terrific book less than five stars out of five! Encore! Encore!
Quoth the Raven…
The Bagman is one Frank “Mac” McCullough, a one-time courier and thug for a crime family during the Great Depression. At an early age Mac’s life took a major turn when he became an orphan, spent time in a reformatory, and then later got involved in the rackets. But he’s always had a core of decency and honesty buried in his heart. So when he chooses to help and old family friend who got in hock to the Mob, Mac turns his back on crime and his Boss, Slots Lurie, and suddenly finds himself taking another turn on the road of life. In a last-minute decision to conceal his identity from the wise guys he’s hunting, Mac dons a paper bag over his head, and soon he’s known as the mysterious Bagman. (Later he acquires a mask more appropriate to being a man of mystery and a crime-fighting avenger.)
In The Bagman vs The World’s Fair, Mac and Crankshaft are on the trail of a villain known as the Resonator. He’s developed a sonic weapon, the Resonance Gun, and is committing horrendous acts of terrorism at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago: the year of the original King Kong. My Mom worked at the World’s Fair when she was 18 years old, and she told me many stories of con artists, thieves, hookers, marathon dancers, low-level hoods and top Mob guys. But she never told about anything like this! The action is fast, furious and wild, and Bagman and Crankshaft are in top form in this adventure, which features a nice cameo by writer Calvin Daniel’s new pulp hero, the Black Wolf.
So take a gander at these fun and excellent adventures of sarcastic Mac, alias the Bagman, and his left-hand man, Crankshaft, an expert mechanic as they take on the gangsters, the punks, the serial killers, a mad scientist, and a host of nasty characters that haunt the streets of Chicago, “the city where the weak are killed and eaten.”