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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.

What listeners say about King's Shilling

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

An enjoyable easy listen, again a bit boys own and a bit far fetched but that's what action adventure is all about. Another brilliant performance by John Telfer whose characterisations are varied and believable.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent adventure story

Thoroughly enjoyed this talking book. Couldn't stop once started listening. Highly recommended. Great action and just the right level of gritty realism

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So well done!

This is a book that I thought would be rather hung-ho and unthinking, but it is far more than that. Build around well rounded characters with a pace that never lets up and gives a genuine insight into comradeship.

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Thoroughly enjoyed

Great plot, interesting characters,
great use of naval insight and attitudes
this one, led to 3 more enjoyable books by this author. Thoroughly enjoyed

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Authentic

In the tradition of gritty authentic war fiction like HMS Ulysses, this has the page-turning tension if a thriller, combined with credible characters in a world rooted in such crisp factual accuracy it comes across with the authority of a documentary.

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Top read/listen!

Possibly the best story, performance and narrative I’ve had on audible. So good I listened to it again straight afterwards! So well written and the narrator could probably read me a lullaby and keep me awake with the engagement he adds to the story!

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Cracking read

Read all his books and this is up the with the best of them great characters and stories

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Loved It

Some language slightly dated but bang on for story, characters, psce and delivery. Very powerful.

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Marvellous!

Brilliant story, brilliant narrator. pitched just right. A tough and tender tale of derring do!

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  • Timothy
  • 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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  • Creeker
  • 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