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Publisher's Summary

Sharpe's mission had seemed simple: capture a small unguarded French coastal fort, cripple Napoleon's supply lines, and retreat across the sea. But behind the lines, Sharpe's old enemy, Pierre Ducos, awaits Sharpe's arrival with a battalion of French soldiers and a vicious commanding general who keeps the scalps of his dead enemies as trophies. Outmaneuvered by Ducos' treachery and abandoned by his own navy, Sharpe has only two choices: to escape with the aid of the charming, unscrupulous American mercenary, Cornelius Killick, or die.
Don't forget to check out the rest of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series.
©1987 Rifleman Productions (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"With a plot up to its neck in blood and guts, this is adventure naked and unashamed." (Mail on Sunday)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 12-08-12

Behind enemy lines

Richard Sharpe is to command a company of "Rifles" (not his own company) behind enemy lines and capture a small unguarded French fort. As the British Navy is in command of the sea it is easy for the Navy to land Sharpe, the rifle company and a company of Marines behind enemy lines to do the job. Only the Naval Captain tries to take control and undercut Sharpe then when the French attack the Navy leaves. Sharpe is outmaneuvered by Pierre Ducos the French Spy master and Sharpe finds he faces 2000 French troops commanded by a brutal General. Some small battles take place in the first part of the book and the second half of the book is one big battle. Cornwell is the master of the battle scene, he paints a picture that brings it to life for the reader. Lots of suspense and intrigue, his friend, the Scot engineer and counter spy master Hogan dies of the fever in this story. Unlike other books in the series no such battle took place in the war but similar types of raids were made by the British marines and army into France. If you are a fan of this series or enjoy an excellent historical novel this is the book for you.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 09-21-15

Sharpe in between a rock and a hard place

Okay Sharpe is sent off on a ruse to take a French coastal fort, cause a little trouble in land and help the locals rebel against Napoleon. He isn't having any of it but orders are orders. When it comes to the crunch though, he is up the creek with out a paddle. The British Navy deserts him except for a few good marines, the French try to crush him, Major Dueco has him in his clasps and Sharpe's new wife has a cold. Lucky for him he has made a new friend. A US Privateer. What is the poor boy to do. Listen and you will not be disappointed.

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