When the underworld united in one compact army of crime, the Spider - his prestige gone - faced the most vicious collection of criminals and degenerate killers ever assembled under one dark banner of bloody social war! How can Richard Wentworth, robbed of Kirkpatrick and Nita, renew the Spider-fear, which alone can bring him victory from a menace that is making casualty columns of our daily papers and filling our institutions with driveling victims of the new madness?
"It's smart to be dopey!" This was the slogan dancing on the laughing lips of the so-called smart set in this hard-hitting Spider novel. According to the slang of 1934, "dope" stood for heroin. And a criminal genius calling himself the Bloody Serpent was its chief pusher.
With the repeal of Prohibition, alcohol is now legal. The speakeasies have reopened as legitimate saloons. Bootleggers and their illegal brewers have been thrown out of business. America is celebrating - but also looking for a new illicit kick.
Amid this historic upheaval, the Bloody Serpent senses a fresh opportunity. Organizing the New York underworld under his wicked banner, he begins a systematic campaign to undermine law and order - the better to push his narcotic wares on the city's gullible uppercrust. No wonder they called him The serpent of destruction!
First, Commissioner Kirkpatrick is framed and disgraced. Then Nita van Sloan is kidnapped with the cruel intention of turning her into a pathetic dope addict. Criminals, once cowing in terror of the Spider's awesome wrath, now laughed at his name, their old arachnophobia gone.
That was when the Spider decided to armor himself with a new array of weapons - deadly devices so terrible that they would re-inflict the dread that the master of men had built up in the criminal underworld - and vowing to wage "war to the hilt!"
Nick Santa Maria reads this riveting Spider thriller. Originally published in The Spider magazine, April 1934.