The Admiral’s Game
This is the fifth in the series of novels about John Pearce, a naval officer by default rather than proper entitlement. As in previous books, Pearce’s Achilles heel is his attachment to the Pelicans (a tavern in London), themselves wrongly press-ganged, and his determination to bring his arch-enemy Captain Ralph Barclay to justice.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution in 1794, Pearce’s main mission takes him to Naples, an Italian state ruled by Spanish Bourbons with a Hapsburg queen, to seek assistance for and commitment to the cause in Toulon. Underscoring every naval engagement are the feuding senior naval officers striving for political sponsorship and battle honours; being without either is professional suicide. Each naval battle is explosive and gripping, the intrinsic historical and personality detail absorbing and intense. A fantastic must-read by a prolific master author.