Mar. 31, 2018

The Man of Granite—Doc Shadows

Year of Shadows by Teel James Glen

Doctor Anton Chadeaux, Ph.D. is a pulp hero very much in the vein of Doc Savage. Son of an oil speculator, his parents plane was shot down and they were murdered by Chinese bandits hired by the Japanese while on a trip to North Korea. Anton was left to die, having been paralyzed in the plane crash.

Anton was rescued by monks from the hidden Wei Temple. Over years he was bathed in solutions and given herbal remedies until he was able to walk again. He trained in the art of Sulsa Do and became something more than just a man. His skin bleached white by the herbal baths, he became the man known as Doc Shadows, the man of granite…

This pulp hero, unlike Doc Savage, has no problems with dating women. In fact, one of his aides, Han Ku “Hank” Lee, a woman with a patch over one eye is his girlfriend. Other aides include the bantam boxer “ Slugger” Harris, Korean Monk Ki Nam Hoom, and the enigmatic grandmother figure, Mambo Rouge, an islander from Martinidad.

He is extremely anti-racist, standing up for all people of color in an era where prejudice was commonplace. He has no compulsion against killing if necessary. He is a man of few vices, but he is not the boy scout Doc Savage became.

The group uses “mountain Korean” as their secret language. Their headquarters townhouse is called The Shadows Foundation for Justice, located at Seventeenth and Irving Place, Manhattan. They also meet at “Sluggers’” establishment The Combination Club located in Chinatown. Doc Shadows is a silent partner in the club.

The adventures in this volume take place during the 1930’s. Japan is committing atrocities in China. In Germany the Nazis reign supreme. War is only a matter of a few years away for America. Doc Shadows travels to far-flung places and tackles some very unsavory characters.

There is the desperado who is seeking to defraud members of an archeological dig. There is the woman with the chip on her shoulder. There is the murderer in San Francisco, tinged with Chinese overtones. And there is much, much more!

I found Shadows a welcome new addition to pulp fiction. He is a hero with his own brand of justice and his own approach to crime fighting. I think I would like to see more of his adventures!

I give the book five stars, plus!

Quoth the Raven…

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