The Blooding

Written by James McGee
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1812, Matthew Hawkwood reluctantly finds himself on American shores after leaving France, due to misfortune; he had hoped to arrive back in England. On his way to British Canada, Hawkwood is drawn into the war between Britain and America after rescuing British officer Major Douglas Lawrence from a Yankee prison. On the trail of Hawkwood and Lawrence is Major Harlan Quade, an American infantry officer and part of the invading force that hopes to conquer Canada. Helping Hawkwood along his way north is a Mohawk Indian named Tewanias.

This book is the fifth in the series featuring Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood. As a policeman on the streets of London, Hawkwood has a knack for solving crimes and catching criminals. The previous novel took Hawkwood to France to join a British spy network and attempt to negotiate a peace with France.

We learn in this novel that Hawkwood has roots in America. Several chapters provide a back story for Hawkwood when he was a young boy in 1780. As an orphan, he eventually finds a home with a Mohawk tribe led by Tewanias. Therefore, this book reveals not only his early life in America, but also how he learned how to fight from the Mohawk Indian tribe.

I’ve read all the books in the series and enjoy Hawkwood’s escapades. This fast-paced novel has characters that leap from the pages, and the action is relentless. This gripping drama would be enjoyed by readers of Bernard Cornwell, with its exciting hero and sharp, well-written dialog. It’s a must-read for the adventurers in all of us. I can’t recommend this book and the series too highly.