I could almost give this two stars just because being finished with it has made me very happy.This is a horrible book. It's probably not the most racist book written, but it may be one of the most popular and one of the least subtle about its racism. I do hope that somebody bopped Sax Rohmer on the nose for this.I kept reading, even after it became obvious that the 'protagonist' Smith was fighting Fu-Manchu on behalf of the 'white race', in hopes that Fu-Manchu would evolve into an antihero that one could root for. He did not.The Englishmen aligned against Fu-Manchu are inept, achieve no victories that are not due to turncoat henchmen of the villain. Worse, they are constantly surprised by the abilities of Fu-Manchu despite expounding on his incredible acumen and resources. I doubt Rohmer invented the trap door, but it's likely that he made the best use of it through creating characters incapable of recalling the existence of such things. Ridiculously, the 'good guys' suggest that one victim should have been protected from Fu-Manchu's men because of the inaccessible third story window. Three stories! Who could possibly get up there? Without, you know, like, a ladder?These are not good adventures. There's nothing to get the pulse pounding, no character to root for, no situation to overcome the disturbing bigotry of the heroes. If Fu-Manchu can't beat these guys, there's not much to his threat of world domination. You can go about your business.