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Jade Rooster (Dreadnaughts and Bluejackets) Paperback – February 10, 2009
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About the Author
In 2002 he was mobilized as a reserve officer for duty with Naval Special Warfare Group One Afghanistan and elsewhere in Central and Southwest Asia. In 2005, Capt. Crossland retired with 35 years commissioned service, active and reserve, as a SEAL officer.
Top Customer Reviews
By R.L. Crossland
Reviewed by Chris Knopf
There are worse things than being compared to Patrick O'Brian. And that's good news for R.L.Crossland, because comparisons between his historical naval thriller/crime story and the tales of O'Brian's Captain Aubrey are inevitable.
Both share an almost hypnotic evocation of the past, with rich descriptive detail and an encyclopedic command of nautical terminology and the vernacular of the times.
Where they begin to part company are the times themselves - for Crossland, it's early 20th century Asia, in particular Japanese-occupied Korea. A time that most readers, even lovers of exotic sea yarns, will find unfamiliar. Crossland's style, like O'Brian's, effectively captures the mood of this extremely alien environment, signaling from the first pages of the book that this ain't Kansas, Toto. So get ready for something completely different.
The other crucial distinction is that Jade Rooster is at heart an intricate murder mystery, complete with a self-possessed amateur sleuth in the form of Petty Officer Third Class Hobson of the U.S. Navy, a full complement of picaresque characters of questionable morality and several very nasty villains.
The triggering event is the disappearance of the merchant ship Jade Rooster, on a seemingly routine voyage from California by way of Hawaii. Not insignificantly, a tender from the freighter, a whaleboat, has been discovered aimless and abandoned with a cargo on board you could reasonably describe as gruesome (the behavior of some of our current jihadi terrorists come to mind, which should give you the drift).
Hobson's parents were missionaries who raised him in the Far East.Read more ›
Verisimilitude. The quality of appearing to be true or real.
When I was in junior high school, quite some years ago, my English teacher, Mr. John, assigned the class to write an essay featuring verisimilitude. I looked up the definition of the word and wrote a paper about being at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. At the time I didn't know much anything about Pearl Harbor, the military, or the war, outside of what I knew from history books, learned from research, or heard from my Uncle Lem who had been in the South Pacific during the War. And I didn't know all that much about writing, either, or anything at all about verisimilitude. I suspect my paper wasn't too good. I don't remember what grade I got. I don't want to.
R.L. Crossland's latest novel, on the other hand, defines verisimilitude. R.L. Crossland is verisimilitude!
Indeed, it's easier to believe that Crossland owns a time machine and used it to visit early 20th Century Japan than it is to believe that JADE ROOSTER is a fiction. Unlike my own high school knowledge of Pearl Harbor, Crossland's knowledge of the topics he covers in JADE ROOSTER - early 20th century Japan, the Navy and merchant marine of the day, sailors and their ways - proves encyclopedic. In fact, JADE ROOSTER falls into that category of fiction I so treasure, the encyclopedic novel, where one finds the likes of Dickens's TALE OF TWO CITIES, Melville's MOBY DICK, and Jules Verne's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. These books prove highly entertaining while being substantially informative.
Crossland writes with a credibility and authority that could only be gained by years in the military. A recently retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer who has written copiously for U.S.Read more ›
This story seems to take us in a time machine to pre-WWII Japan. Not only do we learn something about the US presence there and Asian history, we are caught up in a compelling mystery filled with colorful characters, twists and turns. Although this is not a time and place I may have researched, I was delighted to find myself living in it with R.L. Crossland's engrossing tale.
Great mystery - it entertains and teaches!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Buds 58 grad wrote a wonderful historical could be nautical mystery. An excellent read.Published 21 months ago by rfl93k
Great Story with much early 1900's U.S. Navy in Pacific during early 1900's.
Also very good insight into Japan and Korea during the same period. All in all a GREAT read! Read more