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Publisher's Summary

It is 1793. John Pearce and his Pelicans are going home - to gain their freedom and put the treacherous Captain Ralph Barclay in the dock. Emily Barclay discovers Pearce has papers that would ruin her husband’s career and her future security. And then comes that dread thing, a fire aboard a wooden ship of war!
Cast adrift, Pearce and his Pelicans find help from an unlikely source. Finally back on British soil, they hope they have reached the end of their troubles, but with the documents missing, the real concerns have only just begun. Emily Barclay holds the key, but where do her loyalties lie?
©2009 David Donachie (P)2010 Soundings
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 03-14-15

A clever blend of fact and fiction

This is book number seven in the John Pearce series. It is important to read this series in order as Donachie is going through the battle of Toulon step by step with each book in the series. This story is also set in 1793. The British navy is withdrawing from Toulon as the force led by Napoleon is overcoming the British defenses.

Lt. Pearce is caught between the rivalries of two leading admirals and threatened by the machination of the villainous captain Ralph Barclay. There is a sharp divide between good and bad senior officers in this story. Pearce is beginning to question himself that he maybe obsessing over Captain Barclay.

The author has done his research about the battle of Toulon and the British Navy. This historical novel does an excellent job of putting the reader right into the action at Toulon. Donachie does a good job in his depictions of a storm at sea and fire on board a wooden ship. Donachie writes a good Royal Navy historical novel but it is not in the class of Forester or O’Brien.

I keep wondering if Pearce and his fellow Pelicans will ever be free of the Royal Navy. Peter Wickham narrated the story.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Craig on 06-17-10

Better than his last book but...

I'm having a hard time wanting to continue with the series as the books are predictable and charters boring. I literally want to b*tch-slap John Piece half the time while reading... oh well... Master and Commander this is not!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Mike on 10-03-16

Disappointed spinning out the strory

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am giving up on John Pearce - it a shame it started so well and i really enjoyed the books, but we never get to any a conclusion with the story. it feels like the author is spinning out the store to get us to buy the next book. as you can see by the starts and I bet by the sales we are done...

Has An Ill Wind put you off other books in this genre?


Have you listened to any of Peter Wickham’s other performances? How does this one compare?

yes very good i like him

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?


Any additional comments?

i have moved on

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