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Jade Rooster (Dreadnaughts and Bluejackets) Paperback – February 10, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“For lovers of military adventures and good old-fashioned detective stores . . . Jade Rooster is a feast.” —Chris Knopf, author of Last Refuge and Two Time
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Captain Crossland served as a Navy SEAL platoon officer in Vietnam in 1971. During his combat tour in Cà Mau, An Xuyên Province, Vietnam, he participated in Phoenix operations (the abduction of high level Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army leaders) and Britelight operations (the rescue of American P.O.W.s). Immediately following his Vietnam tour, he served as an advisor teaching unconventional warfare tactics to the South Korean Underwater Demolition Teams in Chinhae, Korea. On completion of his active duty, he elected to attend law school and remain in the naval reserve. As a reserve officer he received orders to South Korea on nine additional occasions.
 
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.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dreadnaughts and Bluejackets
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440116210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440116216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,199,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If Patrick O'Brian Read More Noir...

Jade Rooster
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
JADE ROOSTER

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.
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"Jade Rooster" evokes the milieu of "The Sand Pebbles" (by Richard McKenna) and Marcus Goodrich's "Delilah". Crossland gives us a novel, steeped in the history, lore and culture of East Asia and the US Navy in the era of the Great White Fleet. His experience as a former Navy SEAL allows him to write credibly about revolutionary warfare, seamanship,the intersection between the military, intelligence and diplomatic communities and all matters maritime. he also gives us a glimpse of what wreck diving must've been like in a Mark V suit. To his credit, Crossland gives us understated combat and fighting sequences which makes the book all the more believable. I have a couple of quibbles, but in order to prevent spoilers, I'll stay mum. Great book about the Golden Age of the US Navy. I'm looking forward to a sequel.
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Format: Paperback
I've been meaning to write this review for quite a while. As I read much better than I write, I was having trouble finding the words to capture this unusual and delightful book. I read Sonnet CLV's review and thought, "why this person put my thoughts into words for me."

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!!
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