The Rare Traits Trilogy

With the right DNA, you could be free from disease, free from ageing. You could even, perhaps, live forever. John Andrews has the right DNA …

Centuries-old Renaissance artist John Andrews is a man who remains forever young, forever on his guard in a world that can never understand him, forever an enigma. Until, that is, 21st-century science unravels his secret.

Born Luca di Stefano in early Renaissance Tuscany, he is apprenticed to the great fresco painter, Piero della Francesca. He has perfect health, which he assumes is good luck, but as the years pass, he realises that there is something else very different about him: he is not ageing.

At sixty, his youthful looks become a threat to his life when a fanatical and over-zealous Church wants him burnt at the stake as a servant of the Devil. Fleeing to Naples, he adopts a new identity and starts a new life, the first of many artistic personas through the centuries.

Fast forward to 2009 when John’s DNA is profiled. Once its full significance becomes clear, it is not only geneticists who are interested: there are others desperate for the secret of John’s longevity and they will stop at nothing to get it.

Set throughout the world during the past six centuries, Rare Traits is a fast-moving thriller that interweaves art history, forensic science and DNA profiling with John Andrews’ lives as various artists. It traces his lovers, his families and his friends, and above all it traces the challenges he faces in order to survive. For no matter how long he lives, one thing is certain: John can never stop looking over his shoulder.

It is 1970 and Annie Carr has a problem. She has been arrested for a brutal double homicide of two friends, one of which she certainly committed, although she claims self-defence. In order to escape the death penalty, Annie decides to tell her psychiatrist the unbelievable truth about her incredible age, her perfect health, her often violent life and the crimes she has committed.

In 2012, art-forgery expert Ced Fisher is contacted by a woman from Boston wanting him to compare paintings by two female artists – one modern and one from the 19th century. When Ced discovers that the paintings are by the same artist, he immediately thinks of thinks of his friend John Andrews, whose life he helped to save three years earlier — could the artist be John’s long-lost daughter, Paola Santini, born centuries ago in Naples? And if so, who is the woman in Boston?

Further enquiries reveal that the modern artist, Annie Carr, was a delusional murderer incarcerated in a state psychiatric institution in Colorado in 1970, and worse, she is now long dead. But was she delusional or was the psychiatrist who diagnosed her misled? And how accurate are the reports of her death?

The second book in the Rare Traits Trilogy continues the tale of 15th century artist John Andrews and those who share his extraordinary longevity. Centred around the daughter John has never met, Delusional Traits is the story of a woman whose character is honed by adversity, her life a constant fight for survival in a world that will never understand her.

John Andrews is in a state of shock. Just weeks after meeting his daughter Paola for the first time – almost 500 years after she was born in Naples – she is abducted and DNA evidence shows that the culprit is Jacques Bognard, John’s seafaring friend from 17th century Marseille.

When the body of a brutally murdered, unknown woman is discovered in Paola’s Cape Cod house and Paola’s own identity is found to be false, the police are baffled. And the deeper they dig, the more mysterious the case becomes.

In the gripping finale to the Rare Traits Trilogy, John Andrews finds himself in a desperate search for his daughter that leads him from the US to the UK and then to the area of Tuscany he knew as a young man in the 15th century.

Meanwhile, in the seclusion of her captivity, Paola faces her demons …

The Cotton & Silk Thrillers

A serial killer stalks; A Woman Dies; A Man Is Framed For Murder.
Henry Silk, star of a popular TV soap, is an actor with a bad-boy reputation. When police link his car to a body found in woods near Nottingham, he is dismissive; they must be mistaken. But with no alibi, no memory of the night of the killing and an increasingly watertight case against him, his disdain turns to horror when he is charged with murder.

Jennifer Cotton, the young detective constable who uncovers much of the damning evidence, has no doubt about the actor’s guilt until an unexpected revelation turns her world on its head. Unceremoniously removed from the case and her reputation in tatters, she risks her future by pursuing her own investigation, determined to prove Silk’s innocence.

As one startling discovery leads to another, Jennifer draws closer to the real killer, and closer to a potentially fatal confrontation.

Detective Constable Jennifer Cotton is convalescing at her stepfather’s villa on Sardinia, slowly recovering from the vicious assault in Nottinghamshire’s Harlow Wood that almost claimed her life. Initially convinced that her assailant will not risk being caught by attacking her again, she is forced to face reality when a killing spree commences in England targeting individuals from that fateful night.
However, when the search for the serial killer goes cold and Jennifer is back to full health, she puts all her energy into her new role with the London Metropolitan Police’s Art Fraud Squad who are investigating a multi-million-pound art-forgery racket based in Italy.
But has Jennifer’s nemesis gone to ground permanently or is she closer than Jennifer thinks, biding her time?
Remorseless is the gripping sequel to Irrefutable Evidence in which Jennifer once again finds herself in the cross hairs of a merciless serial killer who will stop at nothing until she has achieved her revenge, a killer without scruples, a killer bent on retribution.


Hong Kong Under the Microscope

A history of the Hong Kong Government Laboratory, 1879-2004

Hong Kong’s Government Laboratory was set up in 1879 in the days when Hong Kong was very much a colonial backwater. Hugh McCallum, a young Scot appointed as the first Government Apothecary and Analyst, arrived to find his ‘laboratory’ was a single room with no equipment in a hospital for prostitutes.

Hong Kong Under the Microscope traces development of the laboratory through its first 125 years, from those early, primitive days to the modern, state-of-the-art and internationally recognised laboratory that it had become by 2004, employing nearly five hundred scientists to provide forensic, analytical and scientific advisory services to the people of the present day international business, trade and tourism centre that is now Hong Kong.

To buy a copy of Hong Kong Under the Microscope, go to the HK Government Bookstore, click on the ‘Browse Government Bookstore for Government Publication’ link, register, search for the book’s title and hit ‘Buy!’ The cost is HK$56 (~US$7.21) + postage

 Children’s Books by Gail Clarke

David’s wife Gail has written and illustrated seven delightful books suitable for children aged 4-9. The stories, which are told in rhyme, are based on the theme of animal migration or animal facts. As well as being great stories that children love to hear over and again, each book is packed with information, making them great educational tools for teachers and parents alike. Gail visits schools in most of the place we travel to: Hong Kong, Thailand, Dubai, Kenya, Sri Lanka and England, where she gives presentations about the books and about the writing and illustrating process, and, of course, she reads one or more of the stories.

Since December 2010, she has seen over 35,000 children around the world. In order to make the books more generally available , we have chosen two routes. The first is through Amazon where six of the seven books are available as print-on-demand paperbacks from all Amazon sites. As with my books, the alternative route is through Ingram Spark’s print-on-demand service. With this, Gail’s books are available as both print-on-demand paperbacks and hardbacks that can be ordered through bookshops in many countries throughout the world. The quality of the hardbacks is excellent and also, since the paperbacks are printed on premium quality paper, the printing quality and colours of the paperbacks from IngramSpark are superior to CreateSpace.

You can find out more about Gail and her books on her website at and see some of the pages from the books.


Patrick’s Birthday Message

Patrick is a very clever African grey parrot who wants send a birthday message to his great-grandfather Gilbert who is going to be one hundred years old. There’s just one big problem: Gilbert lives thousands of miles away in Perth, Australia. How can he do it? Patrick asks for the help of a flock of migrating swallows heading from northern Europe to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The swallows then pass the message on to whales and dolphins who sing it all the way to Australia.


Searching for Skye

Searching for Skye is the story of two baby Arctic terns, Pilot and Skye, who are born, like all Arctic terns, in the Arctic Circle. Soon after they learn to fly it is time for their first pole-to-pole migration with their parents. This is a marathon journey that all Arctic terns make every year of their lives. Just as they are about to leave Skye goes missing. What can the parents do?


Cosmos the Curious Whale

When Cosmos the baby humpback whale learns about the creatures that live in the world, he wants to see some of them for himself. He sets off on an adventure to the South Pole to find polar bears and penguins. His whale friends try to warn him that he is making a big mistake but Cosmos is so excited about his plans that he won’t stop to listen.
Follow the brave baby humpback as he meets a huge turtle, swims into the arms of a giant squid, watches penguins at play and rescues a baby polar bear from being swept out to sea.

The Chameleon Who Couldn’t Change Colour

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Chameleon is green from the top of his scaley head to the tip of his scaley tail. Not red, not blue, just green.

Chameleon knows he should be able to change colour but no matter how hard he tries he can’t do it. To make matters worse, all the creatures he meets want to see his clever colour-changing trick.

Let’s join Chameleon on his jungle walk and find out if he can learn the secret that every chameleon should know… how to change colour.

Ndotto. An Elephant Rescue Story

One morning, high in the Ndoto mountains of northern Kenya, a Samburu herdboy was amazed to find a tiny baby elephant sleeping among his goats and sheep. The elephant was very weak and the herdboy knew he was unlikely to survive.

But, thanks to the quick action of the herdboy’s tribespeople and an elephant rescue team, Ndotto the baby elephant did survive. Today he lives in an elephant sanctuary in Nairobi where he is lovingly cared for twenty-four hours a day by his keepers. This book is based on the true story of his dramatic rescue.

Mischief at the Waterhole

The sun is blazing in the sky. Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Zebra and Snake are tired, grumpy and very, very hot. They would love to find a way to cool down.

Monkey, who enjoys all sorts of mischief, hears them grumbling. He thinks of a cheeky way to help his friends and play a funny trick on them.

Sharks – Our Ocean Guardians

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Two hundred million years before the birth of the first dinosaur, prehistoric sharks like these lived in rivers, lakes and seas.

In these pages you will find a story of a special kind: How the sharks of long ago became the ones that we now know, and the important part they play in keeping our oceans healthy today.

Sharks – Our Ocean Guardians is available exclusively from the Shark Guardian website at