A Fine Retribution

Written by Dewey Lambdin
Review by Ray Thompson

This is the 23rd novel in the Alan Lewrie series, set during the Age of Fighting Sail, and after a slow start the pace soon picks up. It is 1809, and despite, or perhaps because of, his abilities and success, the intrepid captain finds himself without a new command. Fortunately, his time ashore is not wasted, for after seven years as a widower he woos and weds Miss Jessica Chenery, whom he commissions to paint his portrait. He is plucked from the joys of a new marriage, however, when he is unexpectedly assigned to organize battalion-size landings to raid the coast of southern Italy.

Lewrie faces the usual run of obstacles that he has encountered throughout his career: difficult family members, hide-bound officers, envious rivals, and influential superiors he had offended in the past. His willingness to experiment with unconventional tactics stirs as much resentment as admiration in a patronage-ridden system. Fortunately, with his usual flair, our irreverent hero rises to meet the new set of challenges, and his relationship with his new wife is a welcome sign that he is at last maturing.

An involving yarn, highly recommended to followers of the series.