The G-Men Smash the “Professor’s” Gang

June 28, 2007

I feel like The G-Men Smash the “Professor’s” Gang(by William Engle), while an utterly fantastic title, shouldn’t be a hard one to live up to. I mean, as long as there are, you know, FBI agents, and someone called the Professor, and the former smash the latter’s gang, you can’t really go wrong.

And there are a couple of FBI agents: There’s Bob, who’s expected to be promoted soon, and is generally sort of brilliant, and heads the investigation, and there’s Denny, who is very good at going undercover, and makes enough of the breakthroughs in the case that he feels like Bob’s partner, rather than his sidekick.

The two of them get unexpectedly called back to work on the eve of a vacation after Senator Andrew Brownell is murdered in his hotel room. Brownell has been gathering evidence on the Professor’s gang of drug dealers and Miggy Ireton’s gang of counterfeiters for months, and just as he’s about to present to evidence to Congress or whoever, he’s killed.

And, with the help of a young woman called Cincy Adams — and what is “Cincy” short for? The only thing that comes to mind is “Cincinatti.” — Bob and Denny do smash the Professors gang, and Miggy Ireton’s, too. They trap them all in the Professor’s secret underground auditorium with the Professor’s fake orchestra (made up entirely of eerily realistic mannequins playing stolen musical instruments that have been permanently stopped up) and arrest the whole bunch of them at once.

But although it lives up to the title in a purely literal way — maybe not purely, if you want to be nitpicky, because obviously no one’s literally smashing anyone else — I kind of expected it to be more exciting. It felt too much like a kid’s book. I wanted it to be, I don’t know, pulpier.

I mean, it’s good, clean fun. But with a title like The G-Men Smash the “Professor’s” Gang, who wants good clean fun?

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