The King’s Marauder
The twentieth installment of the Alan Lewrie naval adventures starts in 1807 with our intrepid hero, now a post-captain, recovering from serious wounds ashore before sailing for Gibraltar to raid along the Spanish coast on the eve of the Peninsular War. This enjoyable story follows a familiar but involving pattern: boredom and an uncomfortable domestic situation drive Lewrie back to sea where, despite the dangers of battle and frustration with obtuse superiors, he wins success through a combination of skill, opportunism, and a lot of luck. Troublesome senior officers have a convenient habit of falling to enemy action, clearing away obstacles from his path, and his successes win the support of those who appreciate his abilities.
Despite his failings, most notably as a family man, Lewrie is an attractive rogue, especially in contrast to those about him: though susceptible to a pretty face, he treats women with comparative kindness and generosity; as a captain he is firm but fair, cares for his crews, and acknowledges their contribution to his victories. In short he is a leader men gladly follow.