Returning to camp from a dangerous solo mission behind enemy lines, career soldier Daniel Rawson finds himself stranded on foot, with French soldiers in fierce pursuit.
A kindly farmer helps Daniel hide in his barn, then loans him a carthorse on which to escape.
Later, when Daniel goes back to return the horse, he finds the farmhouse and barn have been set ablaze and the farmer approaching death, apparently at the hands of English soldiers.
Back in England there is political unrest. Queen Anne's favour has shifted causing the Duke of Marlborough to resign as Commander-In-Chief.
After several other farmhouses are burnt down in seemingly similar raids, Daniel enlists the help of his old friend Henry Welbeck to help investigate.
All the while the treacherous and scheming French Commander, the Duc de Vendome, is becoming hell-bent on capturing Daniel, by any means at his disposal, including kidnapping the beautiful Amalia.
Daniel has a chance of revenge when facing Vendome at the bloody battle of Oudenarde.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Allison & Busby
- Publication Date: 05/10/2009
- Category: Historical adventure
- ISBN: 9780749007713
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Review by PilgrimJess
This is the third instalment in the Captain Daniel Rawson series and once again we see our intrepid hero undertaking dangerous missions behind enemy lines but unfortunately his character development seems to have come to a halt if not regressed. Instead of being some handsome beau chasing skirt wherever he can find it he seems to have gone all monogamous on us.So much so that when Amalia Janssen is kidnapped by the French,as bait to catch him, he takes it readily and sets out on a mission to rescue her from within the very enemy camp itself. After a successful rescue he then returns to the French camp to retrieve his beloved sword.Now I'm all for 'boys own stories' but this stretches my credulity just too far. Rather than looking resourceful Daniel merely looks reckless.Similarly it seems to send out a rather mixed message about the French leadership. On one hand we are supposed to believe that the Duke de Vendome is a smart and experienced officer hampered by the Duke de Burgungy, who has been foisted on him by the French King and has overall command,then on the other he bungles not one but two attempts to capture a solitary British officer with thousands of men at this disposal. Now whilst I'm happy to believe that the Allied forces won various battles due to brilliant leadership,better training and greater skill I'm not so sure that all the French were the rank idiots that are portrayed.Whilst the text runs along at a reasonably good pace and it is an easy read there is also a lot of repetition of previous books which could easily have been edited out IMHO. Likewise the author seems to have given up totally on the idea of writing any action scenes. Instead we have Daniel escaping from the French then turning up at the Allied camp safe and sound with nothing happening in between. Then the big set battle between the opposing armies is all wrapped up in 10 or so pages. All rather disappointing I fear.Once again Marston gives a decent background into a War and period that I know little but this is not enough to raise it above the ordinary.