Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"" And he's back to tell you about it in these two novels selected from the 283(!) novel-length pulps which featured the brooding chuckler over a 15-year period from the Thirties to the Fifties. Unlike the famed Orson Welles radio program, The Shadow in print has no recourse to invisibility--he has only his hypnotically scintillating fire-opal ring with which to cloud men's minds. And novel readers will also discover that The Shadow is not Lamont Cranston! Lamont Cranston is a real millionaire who allows The Shadow to assume his identity on occasion; The Shadow is actually Kent Allard, an aviator who disappeared in a flight over the Guatemalan jungle and was worshipped as a bird god by the Xinca Indians during his ""lost years."" The first novel herein, A Quarter of Eight, is a blend of history and legend as the sibilant switcher slips through the dark alleys of Vichy-dominated Martinique while trying to unriddle the clue of the broken piece-of-eight pirate coin, which leads--hatch--to hidden treasure. The Freak Show Murders draws upon Gibson's early days as a magician with a traveling carnival. This time the nimble nemesis fights The Harlequin, who inhabits a freak show that features the Inseparable Siamese Twins, Damon and Pythias. Or are they really a weird double-genius of murder? Disarming lads, actually. . . . Watch out, boys, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit!