An Onshore Storm
This is the 24th installment in the Alan Lewrie naval adventures, this one set in 1796. Napoleon has invaded Italy, and England is out to dislodge him. The Baronet Sir Alan Lewrie commands three Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of transport vessels with a mission to provide naval support for the English land forces. Lewrie and his army counterpart, Colonel Tarrant, conduct a series of successful raids along the coast of Calabria. But Lewrie’s role is far from purely naval. His sometimes sketchy past has provided him with a variety of skills that he puts to good use in the land campaigns. In the end, and in spite of betrayal, the English rout the French. Lewrie’s sailors provide the final coup de grace.
This is a meandering tale with lots of good action and many, sometimes interesting, segues, for example: a lengthy description of how mail was delivered to ships at sea and an entire chapter on a pious young man’s first encounter with a prostitute. The mix of contemporary with period “salty” cursing, and the extraordinarily repetitious use of “wee,” are annoying. But if you can stay focused on the main story line, I would say that An Onshore Storm is a fun read.