In the third adventure featuring the James Bond of the Regency Era, Matthew Hawkwood goes undercover to hunt down smugglers and traitors at the height of the Napoleonic Wars
For a French prisoner of war, there is only one fate worse than the gallows: the hulks. Former man-o-wars, now converted to prison ships, their fearsome reputation guarantees a sentence served in dreadful conditions. Few survive. Escape, it’s said, is impossible. Yet reports persist of a sinister smuggling operation within this brutal world, and the Royal Navy is worried enough to send two of its officers to investigate.When they disappear without a trace, the Navy turns in desperation to Bow Street for help. It’s time to send in a man as dangerous as the prey. It’s time to send in Hawkwood.
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James McGee grew up in Gibraltar, Germany, and Northern Ireland. He has traveled extensively in Europe, the United States, Australia and the Far East, but nowadays resides in Somerset, England.
Five books from his Hawkwood series are available from Pegasus Books: Hawkwood, Resurrectionist, Rapscallion, Rebellion and The Blooding.
He has also written thrillers: Trigger Men, Crow's War and Wolf's Lair
The Regency period (1812–20) is often associated with romance novels, but there’s little time for romance in this thriller, as Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood takes on a deadly assignment: disguised as a French prisoner of war aboard the hulk Rapscallion, he is charged with discovering how inmates are escaping. Hawkwood’s previous adventures established his reputation as a risk-taking, ruthless investigator with amazing stamina; he needs all of those qualities to survive the grim, often gruesome conditions on the prison ship—a microcosm of underworld hell—anchored off Sheerness in Kent. When Hawkwood and his friend and ally, Lasseur, finally escape the ship, they are captured by the local criminal kingpin and forced to join his smuggling operation. At no point in the story is the reader confident of Hawkwood’s success, neither in arresting the criminals nor in staying alive! Conflicting loyalties, relentless action, plot twists, and an atmospheric sense of impending catastrophe place this adventure-suspense novel in league with C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower Saga and Julian Stockwin’s Kydd Sea Adventures. --Jen Baker
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