What the readers say
The Catskinner is on a par with Ken Follett – Highly recommended for readers of thrillers, suspense, mystery and crime.
The Catskinner, by Ross Clarke, (pen-name rcheydn) is a novel on a par with Ken Follett. In this story, Hong Kong is on the cusp of passing legislation that will change the course of its history, as the thriving metropolis, built on trade, capitalism and democracy for over a century, now faces a change of guard with Britain returning the region to China, a communist master. Clarke, a former journalist who tamped the streets of Hong Kong in his career, not only in journalism but as a public relations consultant to politicians and diplomats, betrays his intense knowledge of the region. The descriptive verses depict Hong Kong with such vivid color and tangible mental-perception, that one feels the grime and filth which sits juxtaposition to the luxury and wealth; one senses the vibrant awakenings as day breaks, as the streets suddenly fill with vendors, tourists, a literal throng of humanity. In this story, truly a suspenseful thriller, the author takes the very real and historical happenings of that time, as over five million people await the decisions that will not only affect their lives, but the lives of their children for generations to come, and casts the reader on a thrill ride, following the Catskinner, a brutal murderer and madman intent on exacting his vengeance. The story is meaty, and well-developed. The characters are real and relatable, and one certainly feels their pain and frustration as the pages march on. Clarke’s writing is mature and animated, spiced with wonderful metaphors and descriptive phraseology that paints pictures in one’s mind and forces one to read on in order to find out what happens. The Catskinner is highly recommended for readers of thrillers, suspense, mystery and crime – Editorial review by International Writers Inspiring Change
“The eighties were a fascinating period in Hong Kong's history as it started to look towards its post-colonial future. Heydn's characters and great descriptions of a place that could be wild as well as sophisticated at the same time make for a fascinating read. He seems to have a good feel for what was happening at the time and was obviously inside track on some of the colonial government's thinking. This all makes for a really good read if you love the historical context. For the millions who must have passed through Hong Kong in those years either at work or at play this is an exciting view of events which will raise not a little bit of nostalgia for those heady times.”
“This is a gripping tale (ouch).In other words, all cat-lovers must leave their sentiments at the door and enter the wonderful world of that amazing jewel in the South China seas. This man has obviously lived and breathed HK, and having lived there for a while in 1981 I can tell you it's a place you never forget. This 'novel' then is about as evocative as you can get. I was back there! And, apart from the cerebral political shenanigans, obviously well researched, it was interesting to dwell just a tad on what happens to those hybrid expats, and if they can ever leave! It was my virgin 'Kindle' read, and I didn't put it down.”
“5.0 out of 5 stars Assured, quality writing."
"I was very impressed with "The Catskinner" There is real craft here and a rare ability to build mood and tension. As a resident of Hong Kong, I can say that the way that RC describes the city is accurate and incredibly evocative and gives insight into a culture and a time that I find fascinating. I highly recommend this book.”
“It is a pretty gruesome story, but almost without the blood and gore. Rcheydn is very adept at making the reader imagine, and therefore, feel the horror while at the same time avoiding the pitfall of concentrating on the blood. Detective Maguire needs a little fleshing out but I liked Zachery Tighe. And together they work well. A good read.”
"All in all this is a well written crime story with interesting characters and a solid plot. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a thriller."
Keepers of The Deep
“A lovely story. An excellent book for young readers.” The adventures and the moral behind the story are admirable. Nikko and his new friends have a magical time in the Deep and Yshon. And Fusan – what an imagination. Top stuff.”
"The cover of this novel is very appealing, as it looks very mystical, mysterious and magical. I have a great love of young adult fantasy novels, and the blurb of the story sounded very interesting. I borrowed this novel from a friend, and I found it to be a decent read, with an interesting storyline. There are some editing issues, but overall they do not detract greatly from the enjoyment of the story. I loved that the story was fast paced right from the first few pages, and that the adventurous side of the story was evident immediately. The story brought back memories of reading Enid Blytons Enchanted Wood series, and the story kind of has a �Peter Pan like feeling to it. I love the way the author has used a lot of descriptive passage to create a good image of what the fantasy world, and its characters, look like, as that is really important in a fantasy novel. The book would likely be suitable for pre-teen or young teen readers (or adults who love young adult literature), and the narrative is really easy to follow and full of action, lots of different characters, and interesting fantasy elements. I recommend this novel to parents who are looking for a more traditional fantasy novel for their child, and older readers who want a fun, easy read full of fantasy."
“Keepers of the Deep was a fascinating journey both into a little boy’s imagination and an alternate fantasy reality that does keep you guessing right up to the very end. I really enjoyed the story and the Lord of the Flies type characters, with a little supernatural twist here and here.“
“Fred Nurk is an inspiration. The Good Read Wipe is a laugh. The suggestion is: Go buy it and enjoy.”
"I’m a sucker for a unique title, and this one definitely fit the bill. Then when I read the blurb–simple as it may be–I had to see how this story would unfold. It did start out a bit slow as the main character Fred provided history on how he came up with the idea for the LIT_TISSUE, which was pretty funny–although a bit drawn out. But after that, it seemed to take on a steady, humorous pace. I found it interesting how the author wove little historical details about toileting habits of different countries into the plot, and the rejection letters for his “invention” were hilarious. They almost read like form, novel-rejection letters. I like how he wove Indie authors into the mix. The idea of printing novels on toilet paper was a brilliant idea and I began wondering if the author of this book had written this story about his own endeavors with this. The details were quite realistic as the author described his climb to fame with one simply, “crappy” (pun totally intended) idea, and then his fall back to reality in the end. Although the story is sprinkled with a few grammatical errors and dialogue-construction issues, the writing is witty and fun to read, and I particularly enjoyed how it ended. I would recommend it to anyone seeking a short, humorous story"
The Jade Buddha
"I have long been a fan of Hong Kong based gangster movies but feel the books often fall far short of my expectations. This one gets the big thumbs up. It hits the ground running with a highly visual and tense opening chapter which sets the scene going forward and moves along at a blistering pace thereafter. The author rc heydn Insightfully crafts a shadowy world that delivers an immersive and authentic feel with a number of iconic characters and images which places you right in amongst the action. Definitely one of the best I have read in this genre in a long while."
“A high octane and intelligent thriller that grabs your attention from the very start, The Jade Buddha is highly recommended."
“Fast paced, stylised and hugely readable the dividing line between right and wrong becomes heavily blurred as Rcheydn takes us back to Hong Kong in the nineteen eighties. Set against a backdrop of uncertainty and a looming sense of change, The Jade Buddha explores the gritty, ritualistic and frenzied nature of the criminal underworld whilst being refreshingly devoid of genre clichés. With several converging plotlines the narration rarely falters and is easy to follow as Rcheydn’s characters are brought into the focus. Garrett is particularly well nuanced and the overriding draw of the novel is that all the twist and turns that derail him from his goals are wholly believable. In the main, this is because Rcheydn takes as much the time to emotionally build characters as he does to create a credible seedy underworld setting along with a degree of deadpan nihilism. Nobody is sheltered or immune from the unpredictable or violence, but this creates a profound sense of righteousness as several well-timed and unexpected turns lead readers towards a cracking denouement.”
“The Jade Buddha reminded me of the some of the classic Hong Kong thrillers over the years. Turning the pages I could imagine the scenes and the characters and we are taken right into the belly of the beast. Story, protagonist and villain are easy to imagine and I thought the overall pace of the book was pitched perfectly for the story being told.”