The British Navy sent two officers out to investigate reports of a smuggling operation and the increase in the number of enemy prisoners who have escaped detention from their prison ships. The first investigator was found having drowned and the second hasn’t been heard from. The Home Secretary now requests the Bow Street, and Bow Street has assigned Matthew Hawkwood to go undercover aboard one of the ships. Conditions aboard ship are more vile that could be imagined and Hawkwood is soon fighting for his very life.
His period descriptions and historical detail make his books evocative and educational. This is high action and suspense at its best. Think Saturday matinee pirate movies. It is definitely plot, rather than character driven, but that doesn’t make the characters any less interesting. It does mean you don’t know whom to trust.
McGee’s writing is incredibly visual, which is both good and a bit hard to deal with at times, and it is always incredibly exciting. There is a bit of “ride to the rescue” at one point, but McGee makes even that work.
This is the consummate edge-of-the-seat, great weekend read and, I think, McGee’s best book so far.
RAPSCALLION (Hist/Pol. Proc-Matthew Hawkwood-Georgian) – VG+
McGee, James – 3rd in series