Summary

As a powerful insurgent army closes on Liberia's capital, London is forced to act, and HMS Beaufort is dispatched to West Africa to pull British nationals from the teeth of encroaching danger. But when the volatile situation ashore unravels, the frigate's crew must draw deep on reserves of skill, ingenuity and sheer bloody-mindedness to save it. And with time running out, Beaufort's Captain makes the decision to take his ship upriver....
Cover art courtesy of Crown Copyright.
©2016 Mike Lunnon-Wood (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Derrick on 24-07-18

Boys' Own stuff - brill !

I really enjoyed this book. If, like me, you grew up on a rich diet of black & white British war films, then you will find much to enjoy in this updated version of such classics as "We dive at dawn", "In which we serve" and "The Yangtze Incident". It's a British crew, up against it and coming through with flying colours.

Unlike the standard "techno-thriller", there is much less focus on the technology and more on the story and the characters. Equally, whilst Tom Clancy or Stephen Coontz would have a single, all-conquering hero, this is an ensemble piece, but with just as much flag-waving as either could muster.

I draw the comparison with old war movies advisedly, however. Both in the writing and the narration, this really is a 1940's war movie transplanted to 1996. We may have WRENs and female officers, but the classic components of a '40s film are all, splendidly, here. We have understated officers, cheeky matelots who do something terribly brave and then exclaim that they could "murder a cup o' tea"; only to be scolded by some grizzled, salty Petty Officer who keeps it all together. As an aside for the more sensitive listener, the one allowance to "modernism" is that there is quite a lot of strong language, with the "C" word much in evidence. Nevertheless, if this were a film, Laurence Olivier would be the captain, Richard Todd would lead the shore party and John Mills would pop up to be cheery in the face of danger; "Cripes, we are going to be for it now !".

If I am honest, the narration is a bit much; it really is voiced straight out of the 1940s. Naval officers have not had accents like this since Suez. But that really is me being churlish. This is great fun, and if you are not left a bit moved by the deeply predictable ending, then I would be amazed that you had got as far as that.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Philip on 20-07-18

Exceptional

Rarely can an author command such emotional gut wrenching stories as Mike Lunnon-Wood. Well read and brilliantly researched, this is very impressive. If you want to listen to a relaxing book, this is NOT it!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Timothy on 18-06-17

Outstanding listen

A brilliantly written fictional account of of a Royal Navy action to rescue British and American nationals from a civil war. The characters are well drawn and the writing is superb - didn't want it to end

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5 out of 5 stars
By Creeker on 07-06-17

King's Shilling

I was so happy to find this series about the British Navy and the RNLI. These are excellent stories which make the books hard to put down. They are well-written and well researched, . Too bad there are only 4 in the series. Mike has passed away now-unfortunately. Some of the scenes of the storm in book 1 are truly thrilling. Mike must have been out in some bad weather conditions to get this right. For anyone who loves the sea,book 1 is a must

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