icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Top reviews from the United States


Stephen T. Hazam

5.0 out of 5 stars


A tale of action, intrigue, revenge and redemption across the Pacific Rim in the early 1900s

Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2021

In his novel, The Abalone Ukulele, Captain R. L. Crossland has crafted a compelling tale of action and intrigue, taking us along a journey of revenge and redemption that touches both sides of the Pacific.


Along the way we meet unforgettable fellow travelers that include "Skookum" Yi, Ephraim Coffin, Quartermaster Hobson, "Clementine", "Professor" Draper, Miss Franconia Knapp, "Hellfire" Spuyten and others. Your attention will be rewarded as the various twists and turns of the pathways converge to reveal the machinations of individuals, organizations and national powers. Across two decades and thousands of miles, the story remains authentic to time and place. I most enjoyed the sharp portrayals of Crossland's characters and the colorful descriptions of his varied landscapes.


When I close my eyes, I can see them still.



5.0 out of 5 stars


Maritime historical fiction in the tradition of Patrick O'Brian

Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2021

The ABALONE UKULELE, the most recent novel by Captain Roger Crossland USN (ret.), offers an intriguing look at a pivotal point in time on the far side of the Pacific Ocean – a period spanning some thirty years prior to World War One and little known outside of that immediate region. Captain Crossland has expertly interwoven historical events and personages with fictional events and heroic characters, providing a powerful and intimate look at the chessboard of international power play. The story is a skillfully woven interplay between four nations – China, Korea, Japan, and the United States of America – and presents readers with events as seen through the eyes of those directly engaged in the action. Trust, betrayal, political intrigue, and amazing heroics, performed by ordinary men and women faced with extraordinary circumstances, move through the story at an extraordinary pace.


Captain Crossland continues the fine tradition of maritime historical fiction established by renowned author, Patrick O'Brian, and leaves the reader turning the final page and hoping desperately that more will follow.


-Steve Robinson, Author of the book 'NO GUTS, NO GLORY – Unmasking Navy SEAL Imposters' (2002); a former enlisted US Navy SEAL whose service was contemporary with Captain Crossland.



Capt K. W. Maxwell

5.0 out of 5 stars


Super Intrigue

Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2021

Wonderful reading experience

Delivers a true sense of adventure-mixed with historical events

A definite read for all mariners who dream of the days with the great white fleet

Brings to life the early 20th century Far East waterfronts.


Gordon Cucullu

5.0 out of 5 stars


Masterful Storytelling

Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2021

Crossland, relying on decades of on-the-ground experience and study, has written a highly entertaining historical novel of one of the most exciting periods of history. As nations and empires rose and fell key players on all sides influenced events in ways that even they little understood. Crossland masterfully captures the unique aspects of each nation in ways that shows an in-depth understanding of the peoples and cultures that few others possess. Through it all he weaves a highly suspenseful story of intrigue, betrayal, and opportunity. This is a page-turner that will delight and thrill you. Highly recommend!


Navy Vietnam Veteran

5.0 out of 5 stars


A great historical Navy novel

Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2021

In his new novel, The Abalone Ukulele, Roger Crossland has captured an important but largely overlooked period in the history of the role of the United States Navy in the Far East. His Chinese, Korean, and American heroes thwart a plot by the already brutal Imperial Japan to subjugate its neighbors. Captain Crossland's experience in the Navy and the Orient makes The Abalone Ukulele a gripping and realistic tale of leadership and action in ever dangerous settings. The novel foreshadows the tensions among the same four nations, now in different alignment, in our own times. What is past may well be prologue, and we who have served in the Navy hope that our fleet will be able to meet the challenges yet again, and as successfully as chronicled by Crossland.



Sage of Salem

5.0 out of 5 stars nice thriller..lot of action

Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2021

Great read, great characters, great geographical and political backgrounds. Nice story. Especially Loved the character Yi.


The dialogue of American sailors and Shanghai residents very authentic.


Even enjoyed despising the Spuyten clan.