The Pirate Devlin
After the success of Pirates of the Caribbean and its sequels, walking the plank, pieces of eight and buried treasure are once again back in fashion. Arr, Jim lad.
Mr Keating clearly is interested in history, and he has obviously done a lot of research here. Some of the historical gems he puts into this novel run very counter to the accepted clichés of the pirate genre and are genuinely enlightening. However, although this action-adventure, derring-do yarn attempts to follow in the tradition of Hornblower, Ramage and Sharpe, I’m afraid it isn’t anywhere near as good.
The plot develops far too quickly and the storyline jumps around too much. Some very promising characters die before we can get to know them. Others that are less well drawn survive to make decisions that seem to serve the needs of the story, rather than in accordance with their personalities. It’s not a bad novel by any means, but it’s a long way from being a classic. Quite simply, The Pirate Devlin has almost certainly found a publisher because it feeds on our sudden re-obsession with crime on the high seas.