Written by James McGee
Review by Waheed Rabbani

In October 1812, the Russian winter closes in on Napoleon and his army as they reach the outskirts of Moscow. Supplies cannot reach them. Back in France, food is also in short supply, and with the poverty‑stricken country almost bankrupt, the Emperor’s reputation is rapidly diminishing.

Across the Channel, England waits and prepares to defeat Napoleon, whilst in London Matthew Hawkwood, a ruthless and dangerous ex-soldier, is seconded to a department of the Home Office. His superiors believe him to be the ideal man for such a hazardous mission. In Paris the British have an undercover agent whose daring plan relies entirely on the expertise of Hawkwood.

The plan is to spread false information that the Emperor has been killed in Russia and then stage a coup d’état in Paris, taking over the military, the gendarmerie and offices of state, but the plan is put at risk by drunkards and double-crossing agents.

The story is thoroughly researched and historically accurate and will have a huge appeal to everyone who enjoys the Napoleonic period.