Captain James Lockwood

Written by Mark Bois
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1823, Captain James Lockwood is ordered to take raw recruits from Ireland to Guyana in South America to help suppress a possible slave revolt. The Captain must leave his wife, Brigid, and his daughter behind in Ireland. Brigid feels she has an obligation to help the other wives, who must now find a home and earn a living during this period of unrest in Ireland. While Captain Lockwood is sailing towards Guyana, he captures a pirate and his crew. After he arrives, the disgruntled Governor forces Lockwood to quell the possible slave uprising by force, while the Captain feels force may be unnecessary. Meanwhile, the pirate leader escapes to the swamps of Guyana. Upon returning to the town, the Governor orders the Captain and several of his men to find and kill him.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in Ireland, the Captain’s wife faces major roadblocks while trying to protect the wives from the disgruntled Irish who have no pity for Irish soldiers fighting for England. She and her daughter must also deal with the “White-boys,” a local rebel faction known for killing other Irish, especially those married to redcoats.

This novel is the latest in the Lockwood series, and I was pleased to have the good fortune of reading it. I found the story fascinating and realistic in describing the hardships the Irish lived through during their country’s English occupation after the Napoleonic Wars. I particularly enjoyed the method the author used in telling the story of Captain Lockwood and then breaking away to write a narrative of his wife and daughter in Ireland. The characters are definitely a product of their time and place in history. Be prepared to be immersed in the story.