Fine Books on Asia

Hangman's Point coverHangman's Point
Dean Barrett
Village East Books
538 pages Hardcover
ISBN 0-9661899-1-4
(Click here to order)   

Hangman's Point is set in Hong Kong in 1857, one of the most exciting periods in the former British colony's often dramatic history. Its main character, Andrew Adams, is a ne'er-do-well American ex-seaman who manages a tavern called the Bee Hive in the raucous Chinese section of the colony. He lives above a Chinese medicine shop with his American barmaid girlfriend. On the side, he is involved with various Chinese underground secret societies (Triads) and activities such as clandestine gambling and the smuggling of weapons into China.

Many of the events in the novel are based on historical incidents. For example, the arsenic poisoning of the foreign community by Chinese bakers is the only recorded mass poisoning of a community in world history. The period's language, dress, customs and objects have been thoroughly researched and fused into the writing-- from crinolines and top hats to punkahs and pidgin English to opium dens and clipper ships.

Hangman's Point will transport the reader into an exciting and turbulent Hong Kong caught between the dragon and the lion: Imperial China and Victorian England.

"James Clavell meets John Grisham in 1857 Hong Kong"

"Andrew Adams is a great historical romance hero, and his charisma will grab readers' interest immediately and hold it throughout a tale of intrigue, murder, piracy and discrimination....Adams's adventures take him on a thrilling chase, almost an odyssey....Hangman's Point is a page-turner that is guaranteed to keep both male and female readers enthralled to the very end. Romance and high adventure."
     — Romantic Times Magazine

"An expert on Hong Kong and the turbulent time period portrayed, Dean Barrett has fashioned a swashbuckling adventure which will have both history buffs and thriller readers enthralled from the very first page. The vivid details of the period, which range from women's fashions to military matters to the intricacies of the Chinese culture, are endlessly fascinating and the action never lets up for a minute. Adams is a lovable rascal who accepts defeat with a smile and a shrug which serve as a disguise for an amazingly determined and courageous man. An outstanding historical novel."
       -- Writers Write Reviews

"If Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin ever got as far as Hong Kong in 1857 on their world travels, the aged sea dogs would feel right at home in China expert Dean Barrett's totally convincing novel of high adventure....Like O'Brian, Barrett knows that the best way to impart information is to disguise it as fun."
      —Dick Adler, Reviews

"A great epic of a historical mystery.... Anyone who reads this novel will have to have a passport because they will be immediately transferred to the mid-nineteenth century Orient. The story line is filled with Andrew Adam's misadventures even as it provides a rich historical perspective of the era. The support cast feels so genuine as they move the plot forward. Hangman's Point is a great historical fiction that, if there is any justice, will enable Dean Barrett to become a household name."
       — Bookbrowser Reviews

"The adventures of this latter-day Indiana Jones will leave him fleeing for his life through the town of Victoria (Hong Kong), bring him face to face with the perils of the pirate-infested waters of the Pearl River, and finally fix him a date with death at Hangman's Point....The novel is peppered with well-defined characters from all walks of life....It would be just another potboiler la James Clavell, but Barrett's extensive research sets this novel apart: as well as a ripping adventure story, it is an intimately drawn historical portrait."
       —South China Morning Post

"I loved the book. I didn't want it to end."
       —Willy Miller, WQCS

"There is adventure and mystery in every corner of this well-researched and well-written historical."

"Interspersed are carefully researched, historical details of ships, weapons, tea, ladies's attire, legal proceedings and prison life."
       —Independent Publisher magazine

"Rich in historical perspective and characters, Barrett's debut is good news for those who love grand scale adventure."
       —The Poisoned Pen Booknews

"Andrew Adams is the dashing rogue-hero of the story. An American scalawag who has been a seaman, smuggler and gambler, Adams is now the bar keeper of the Bee Hive Tavern, situated in the heart of Hong Kong's Chinese quarter .... A good story, well told."
       —Vero Beach Press Journal

This book is also available at fine book stores everywhere.

Copyright 2006

 Archer Books. All Rights Reserved.