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The Chinaman | [Stephen Leather]

The Chinaman

Jungle-skilled, silent, and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. He had watched helpless as his two eldest daughters were raped and killed by Thai pirates. Now, all that was behind him. Quiet, hard-working, and unassuming, he was building up his South London take-away business - until the day his wife and youngest daughter were murdered by an IRA bomb. That was when the Chinaman, denied justice, decided on revenge...and went back to war.
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Publisher's Summary

The "Chinaman" understood death.

Jungle-skilled, silent, and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. He had watched helpless as his two eldest daughters were raped and killed by Thai pirates. Now, all that was behind him. Quiet, hard-working, and unassuming, he was building up his South London take-away business - until the day his wife and youngest daughter were murdered by an IRA bomb. Then he began to ask the authorities who were the men responsible, what was being done - and was turned away, fobbed off, treated as a nuisance. That was when the Chinaman, denied justice, decided on revenge...and went back to war.

©1992 Stephen Leather; (P)2007 Isis Publishing Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"The Chinaman is a gem of a thriller, perfectly constructed and full of the unexpected." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (32 )
5 star
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3.9 (8 )
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4.1 (7 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert North Hollywood, CA, USA 08-11-07
    Robert North Hollywood, CA, USA 08-11-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    10
    5
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    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great plot idea, but..."

    Turning loose a trained Vietnamese assassin among a bunch of IRA bombers is an idea loaded with possibilities. It's a great little book, but the author falls into the trap of Orientalism in his characterization of the Viet Cong hero: he makes him into a single-minded cutthroat with the tracking skills of Natty Bumppo. He could have been a Joyce fan, or a horse racing bettor, or a baseball or lacrosse fan. But no. He does know how to make nitroglycerin out of antifreeze and fertilizer and set it off with a flash bulb. Not too deep. The Irish terrorists get full three dimensional portraits, on the other hand, including cottages, favorite drinks, Land Rovers and girl friends. Still, the plot moves right along and it's a fun read, with plenty of surprises -- all of them for the deliciously astonished white folks, and many of them fatal.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 11-11-10
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 11-11-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    483
    ratings
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    179
    166
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    101
    2
    Overall
    "What a surprise"

    Great characters, excellent plot line, great character development, moves quickly with no boring stretches. I felt like I was able to understand the motivations of each of the pricipals. The author is a very good writer and the narration is first rate. I am very glad I listened to this book, would encorage you to check this one out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-21-10
    02-21-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    22
    7
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    Overall
    "Exciting and interesting."

    I really enjoyed this book by Mr. Leather. He wove the stories of the different characters together so that one remained sympathetic and horrified at the same time. Mr. Boulter is an outstanding narrator and his voice adaptations made each character vividly stand out. I will look for both author and narrator for future listening entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lewis Clayton Jr. 09-08-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    25
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    Overall
    "Worth the time."

    This book was worth the time. It could have been condensed a couple of hours, but that's my only complaint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results
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  • stewmarsden@hotmail.com
    Gateshead, England
    7/25/07
    Overall
    "At last Stephen Leather on audio!"

    I have read nearly every Stephen Leather book as they have been published and have constantly scoured the net for them on audio.
    The Chinaman is in my opinion one of his best and the audio version certainly doesn't disappoint with Russell Boulters narration being a very pleasent surprise. He does it at just the right pace and carries off all the various accents extremely well.
    Although a relatively easy listen this story contains enough twists and detail in the characters to keep the interest going.
    I look forward to more of his books on audio soon.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Glynn
    basingstoke, hampshire, United Kingdom
    1/2/10
    Overall
    "New to Stephen Leather"

    Well I first read the Solitary Man and now went back to this one and found it more gripping. I gave The Solitary Man 5 out of 5 before reading this one and actually found it better. wish audible would allow me to go back to rate this one as 5 and the previous as 4 but actually both deserve 5s! Heartbreaking in parts but stirring in others this book reinforces my thoughts to go through all the stephen leather books on audible.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • william
    United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enjoyable listen"
    Where does The Chinaman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's not up there with the best I've listened to but it's good none the less


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The chinaman


    What about Russell Boulter’s performance did you like?

    Good easy to listen to


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    While not edge of the seat stuff it's a good story that will quite easily kill a few hours on a long drive

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S
    HARROGATE, United Kingdom
    11/16/11
    Overall
    "Very pleasant surprise"

    I admit to not having heard of this author before, however the Chinaman came up on a recommended list. As I'd accrued a number of credits I thought "I'll give it a whirl" - and wow - am I glad I did. The story had me gripped from beginning to end and the narration was amongst the best I've heard. Am not going to search for some more by Stephen Leather - though you've set a high standard to follow!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anthony
    Reading, Berks, United Kingdom
    9/27/10
    Overall
    "Highly enjoyable"

    A fast-paced, well plotted crime thriller. I have enjoyed many of Stephen Leather's books in print, and this was one of the first Audible downloads I bought. It was well worth it, holding my attention throughout and leaving me wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

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