The Shadow of Fu-Manchu



Praise for The Shadows of Fu-Manchu

Also by Sax Rohmer

Title Page


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Appreciating Dr. Fu-Manchu

Also Available from Titan Books

“Insidious fun from out of the past. Evil as always, Fu-Manchu reviles as well as thrills us.”—Joe Lansdale, recipient of the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award

“Without Fu-Manchu we wouldn’t have Dr. No, Doctor Doom or Dr. Evil. Sax Rohmer created the first truly great evil mastermind. Devious, inventive, complex, and fascinating. These novels inspired a century of great thrillers!”—Jonathan Maberry,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Assassin’s Code
Patient Zero

“The true king of the pulp mystery is Sax Rohmer—and the shining ruby in his crown is without a doubt his Fu-Manchu stories.”—James Rollins,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Devil Colony

“Fu-Manchu remains the definitive diabolical mastermind of the 20th century. Though the arch-villain is ‘the Yellow Peril incarnate,’ Rohmer shows an interest in other cultures and allows his protagonist a complex set of motivations and a code of honor which often make him seem a better man than his Western antagonists. At their best, these books are very superior pulp fiction… at their worst, they’re still gruesomely readable.” —Kim Newman, award-winning author of
Anno Dracula

“Sax Rohmer is one of the great thriller writers of all time! Rohmer created in Fu-Manchu the model for the super-villains of James Bond, and his hero Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie are worthy stand-ins for Holmes and Watson… though Fu-Manchu makes Professor Moriarty seem an under-achiever.”—Max Allan Collins,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Road to Perdition

“I grew up reading Sax Rohmer’s Fu-Manchu novels, in cheap paperback editions with appropriately lurid covers. They completely entranced me with their vision of a world constantly simmering with intrigue and wildly overheated ambitions. Even without all the exotic detail supplied by Rohmer’s imagination, I knew full well that world wasn’t the same as the one I lived in… For that alone, I’m grateful for all the hours I spent chasing around with Nayland Smith and his stalwart associates, though really my heart was always on their intimidating opponent’s side.” —K. W. Jeter, acclaimed author of
Infernal Devices

“A sterling example of the classic adventure story, full of excitement and intrigue. Fu-Manchu is up there with Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, and Zorro—or more precisely with Professor Moriarty, Captain Nemo, Darth Vader, and Lex Luthor—in the imaginations of generations of readers and moviegoers.”—Charles Ardai, award-winning novelist and founder of Hard Case Crime

“I love Fu-Manchu, the way you can only love the really GREAT villains. Though I read these books years ago he is still with me, living somewhere deep down in my guts, between Professor Moriarty and Dracula, plotting some wonderfully hideous revenge against an unsuspecting mankind.” —Mike Mignola, creator of

“Fu-Manchu is one of the great villains in pop culture history, insidious and brilliant. Discover him if you dare!”—Christopher Golden,
New York Times
bestselling co-author of
Baltimore: The Plague Ships

“Exquisitely detailed… At times, it’s like reading a stage play… [Sax Rohmer] is a colorful storyteller. It was quite easy to be reading away and suddenly realize that I’d been reading for an hour or more without even noticing. It’s like being taken back to the cold and fog of London streets.”—
Entertainment Affairs

“Acknowledged classics of pulp fiction… the bottom line is Fu-Manchu, despite all the huffing and puffing about sinister Oriental wiles and so on, always comes off as the coolest, baddest dude on the block. Today’s supergenius villains owe a huge debt to Sax Rohmer and his fiendish creation.”—
Comic Book Resources

“Undeniably entertaining and fun to read… It’s pure pulp entertainment—awesome, and hilarious and wrong. Read it.” —

“The perfect read to get your adrenalin going and root for the good guys to conquer a menace that is almost supremely evil. This is a wild ride read and I recommend it highly.”—
Vic’s Media Room


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Print edition ISBN: 9780857686138

E-book edition ISBN: 9780857686794

Published by Titan Books

A division of Titan Publishing Group Ltd

144 Southwark Street, London SE1 0UP

First published as a novel in the UK by Barrie & Jenkins, 1949

First published as a novel in the US by Doubleday, Doran, 1948

First Titan Books edition: March 2015

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

The Authors Guild and the Society of Authors assert the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

Copyright © 2015 The Authors Guild and the Society of Authors

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Frontispiece illustration by C. C. Beall, from
magazine, May 8, 1948. Special Thanks to Dr. Lawrence Knapp for the illustration as it appeared on “The Page of Fu Manchu,”

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library.

The outline of a face materialized in the crystal. They became the features of an old Chinese. “You called me, Doctor?” The voice though distant was clear.


ho’s the redhead,” snapped Nayland Smith, “lunching with that embassy attaché?”

“Which table?”

“Half-right. Where I’m looking.”

Harkness, who had been briefed by Washington to meet the dynamic visitor, was already experiencing nerve strain. Sir Denis Nayland Smith, ex-chief of the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard, spoke in a Bren-gun manner, thought and moved so swiftly that his society, if stimulating, was exhausting.

Turning, when about to light a cigar, Harkness presently discovered the diplomat’s table. The grill was fashionable for lunch, and full. But he knew the attaché by sight. He turned back again, dropping a match in a tray.

“Don’t know. Never seen her before.”

“Haven’t you? I have!”

“Sorry, Sir Denis. Is she important?”

“A woman who looks like that is always important. Yes, I know her. But I haven’t quite placed her.”

Nayland Smith refilled his coffee cup, glanced reluctantly at a briar pipe which appeared to have been rescued from a blast furnace, and then put it back in his pocket. He selected a cigarette.

“You don’t think she’s a Russian?” Harkness suggested.

“I know she isn’t.”

Smith surveyed the crowded, panelled room. It buzzed like an aviary. Businessmen predominated. Deals of one sort or another hung in the smoke-laden air. Nearly all these men were talking about how to make money. And nearly all the women were talking about how to spend it.

But not the graceful girl with that glowing hair. He wondered what she was talking about. Her companion appeared to be absorbed, either in what she was saying or in the way she said it.

And while Nayland Smith studied many faces, Harkness studied Nayland Smith.

He had met him only once before, and the years had silvered his hair more than ever, but done nothing to disturb its crisp virility. The lean brown face might be a trifle more lined. It was a grim face, a face which hid a secret, until Nayland Smith smiled. His smile told the secret.

He spoke suddenly.

“Strange to reflect,” he said, “that these people, wrapped up, air tight, in their own trifling affairs, like cigarettes in cellophane, are sitting on top of a smouldering volcano.”

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