"The Flag Captain" by Alexander Kent

This is the 11th in the Richard Bolitho saga. In this chapter, Bolitho is the Flag Captain for a small squadron of ships in late 1795 - early 1796. Admiral Boughton commands the squadron aboard Bolitho's ship of the line Euryalus. Their mission is to establish a base on the north coast of Africa by taking a fortress commanded by the Spanish, the new allies of the French. One of the squadron's frigates is lost due to treachery; the recent troubles from the Spithead and Nore mutinies have left the crew dissatisfied. This captured ship plays a pivotal role later in the book. There is a British special agent involved with his own agenda, and Admiral Boughton is indecisive. As usual, Bolitho will take up the slack and ferret out the bad guys.

There are exciting land and sea battles with French and Spanish and a few clashes with corsairs. Bolitho's old friend Captain Herrick and his nephew Adam Pascoe are prominent characters as is his right hand man, Allday. This book is great fun with lots of excitement in another of the chapters of one of the finest (if not the finest) series of the British age of sail.

McBooks will be releasing chapters 14-18 this April and I will be one of the first to get them.

Reviewed by Kenneth S. Smith 21 March 2000

McBooks Press
Ithaca, New York

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