With his fiery Irish blood and well-known reputation for trouble, Lieutenant George Markham leads his embattled Royal Marines against the French in Corsica. His mission: to seize the island. Markham ventures across the island to persuade the veteran war hero Pasquali Paoli to unite the Corsicans behind him. But their loyalty remains torn by a heritage of vendettas, French bribery, and cross and double cross. Enemies abound, and the only men Markham can rely on are the grim, taciturn Sergeant Rannoch and a man who owes Markham his life - Bellamy, the educated, black Marine.
©1997 Tom Connery (P)2014 Soundings
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This is book number two in the Markham of the Marines series.
Connery (pseudonym for David Donachie) still has the story set in the first years of the French Revolution. Lieutenant George Markham is now on Corsica. The book opened with the Royal Marines making an amphibious landing on a beach under fire. After days of battle Markham and his men are sent off with a Royal Army Major to take a message to General Pasquale Paoli the leader of Corsica about treachery. The Corsican clan, known as the Bonapartist, is trying to assassinate Paoli. We meet in this book the famous women soldiers of the Corsican Army so silent and deadly with their knives. In this book we are introduced to a new character, Bellamy, an educated free Black man who is ordered by the Commander of the troop of Corsican women to carry the Corsica banner (A black Moor with white headband holding a banner) to lead the troops. Markham and troop flee and fight the French trying to get Paoli to Lord Nelson’s Ship before the battle to make sure the Corsica Army fights with the English against the French.
The book is well written and moves at a fairly fast pace. There is no sea action; all action takes place on shore. The book has lots of suspense, back-stabbing, spies, and treachery as well as cavalry charges and infantry action along with some history of Corsica.
Gerry O’Brien does a good job narrating the story.
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