The Honored Dead

Written by Robert N. Macomber
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1883, President Arthur orders Lt. Commander Peter Wake on a secret mission into French Indochina. As an intelligence officer, Wake travels the Mekong River on a riverboat to deliver a secret message to the king of Cambodia. Thinking this a simple assignment, he ends up fighting with Chinese-Malay pirates and French gangsters looking to make money in illegal trading and finally joins the French in a battle against the Empire of Viet Nam. The cultural clash between Indochina and the West, which the author describes in great detail throughout the novel, will continue for another one hundred years.

This novel is the seventh book in the series about Peter Wake, spanning the years 1863 through 1883. I have read all his novels and enjoy Mr. Macomber’s writing style, his ability to get the historical facts correct and his development of interesting characters while spinning his tale. This series is a different type of naval fiction than the Hornblower or the Aubrey books; you don’t have to be knowledgeable about nautical terms. Instead, you get caught up in the story without becoming confused trying to define unusual words, which tend to stop the flow of the novel. This book can be enjoyed without reading the previous books in the series. Highly recommended. I look forward to his eighth book.