In the King’s Name

Written by Alexander Kent
Review by pdr lindsay-salmon

In the King’s Name is the latest in a long naval series, set during the Napoleonic wars, ‘starring’ first Richard Bolitho and then nephew, Adam Bolitho. Author Alexander Kent – pen name of Douglas Reeman who also writes novels under his own name – has had a long and distinguished career as a writer. He is regarded as one of the best naval writers, and is praised for his research; certainly he sets the reader in 19th century naval life and gives a good sense of the sea as well as the century.

In the King’s Name can be read comfortably without having knowledge of the other novels, but I think it would give a deeper understanding if the reader had read the other novels in the series. It helps give depth to the minor characters. It begins in 1819, Adam Bolitho, newly married, must leave his wife and sail for Freetown. His journey is mysterious; there are sealed documents, then a wrecked ship. The only survivor dies saying ‘Mutiny’, and so adventures fall thick and fast. Adam is a captain who cares, his crew are a mixture of ambitious, old hands and sinners, but all must work together to save their skins and the ship.

Definitely a good read for men, and for anyone who enjoys naval adventures, or action and adventure. The plot is tight, and the book well written, well worth a read.