Rare Traits

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About the author:
Former forensic scientist David George Clarke was born and brought up in London. He studied for his bachelors and doctorate degrees in chemistry at the University of Nottingham and in 1973, he finally joined the ranks of the employed when he started work at the West Midlands Forensic Science Laboratory in Birmingham, England.

After three years learning the nuances of the trade, he followed his dream of working overseas by taking a post as a forensic scientist in the Hong Kong Government Laboratory. The lure and excitement of the Far East proved very strong and twenty-eight years later he was still there, retiring eventually as Hong Kong's last expatriate Government Chemist in 2004.

From Hong Kong, David and his wife, the children's book author and illustrator Gail Clarke, moved to the wilds of Tuscany where they set about taming their three acres of land. At the same time, they took steps to improve their Italian and David also fulfilled a lifelong ambition by embarking on a course of study and work experience in art restoration, knowledge from which he drew on when writing Rare Traits.

Finding they still missed many aspects of the Far East and seeing no reason why they couldn't enjoy the best of both worlds while still indulging their passion for writing, David and his wife now divide their time largely between Tuscany and Thailand, with trips to Hong Kong, Kenya, UK and New York City to visit their widely spaced offspring and grandchildren.

Rare Traits is David's first work of fiction.

Rare Traits

Authored by David George Clarke

John Andrews is an extraordinary man. Not only is he an artist as gifted as any of the old masters, but at almost 600 years old, he is still as youthful as he was back in the 1460s.

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.

Publication Date:
Nov 19 2012
1478245379 / 9781478245377
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical

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