The Chinese Sailor

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
A Chinese naval officer from a cruise ship goes missing while his ship visits Holyhead. An international police operation to break an art smuggling ring loses track of three paintings worth $2 million ... from the same cruise ship, on the same cruise. Constable Catrin Sayer, a uniformed police officer with the Metropolitan Police, agrees to go undercover ... More

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About Allan Jones

Allan lives in Ontario, Canada but was born and grew up in Merseyside, England.He studied in North Wales (B.Sc.) and East Anglia (Ph.D.). By profession a chemist, he is now retired but he worked for many years later in his career as a consultant on international chemical regulation, a role in which he traveled extensively. He began creative writing as retirement approached.

He is currently writing a series of art-crime mystery novels featuring Catrin Sayer, a central character who is Welsh, an artist and a policewoman with the Metropolitan Police Service in London. The first novel, The Chinese Sailor, covers her transition from uniform work into the role of a detective with an art crime unit and is set largely in North Wales. The second novel, The Scottish Colourist, is partially set in Glasgow. Other novels in the same series, deal with the development of the life, career and cases of Catrin Sayer and are set in other locations, many of which the author has lived in or visited over the years.

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Also in Series: The Catrin Sayer Novels

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PJ O'Brien reviewed on on May 30, 2015

This is an intriguing mystery told in convoluted layers of time at first, which took a little getting used to. The main story is set in contemporary Wales, but almost immediately the reader is transported to China several decades before. I'd almost forgotten the original Wales opening as I became engrossed in the multi-generational story of the Yeung family. Even so, I'd been fairly warned by the book's opening that this family was fated for undeserved ill-fortune; subsequent chapters bring us back to Wales to learn how it played out.

This is an intelligent, thoughtful mystery with nice historical touches. I liked the pace of the unfolding narrative and the glimpses and clues that were just enough to get my ideas for suspects going without revealing too much. I particularly appreciated the balance in describing some cultural and linguistic patterns of both Wales and China, without falling into simplistic stereotypes for either.

There were some minor typos here and there, but not out of the ordinary for anyone who doesn't have the services of a publishing house editor.

I liked the book very much. As soon as I'd finished, I felt compelled to go back to the beginning and reread a nice chunk of it to make sure I had it all settled. I suspect the occasional shifts of time and perspectives is a stylistic signature of author Allan Jones, though I can't say for sure until I read the next in the series, which I plan to do very soon.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)

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