Keith Miles is probably best recognised by readers under the pen name of Edward Marston. He writes several well-received historical mysteries spanning the 11th century through to the 19th century. His website is www.edwardmarston.com
Set in 1812, the latest McGee adventure has the virtues of its predecessors. It has excellent period detail, some fine action scenes and skilful deployment of a large cast of characters. Former-soldier, Matthew Hawkwood, is a man with a chequered past and the scars to prove it.
He is sent to Paris to assist a British agent in a bold scheme to engineer a takeover of the French Empire by a group of rebels who hope to persuade their countrymen that Napoleon has been killed in Russia. Hawkwood has to overcome huge obstacles before he reaches his destination, only to discover that the British agent is Captain Colqhoun Grant, an old friend whom he thought dead.
There is murder, betrayal and intrigue at every turn. Along the way, Hawkwood makes the acquaintance of Vidocq, thief turned head of the Surete, and the notorious Fouche, former Chief of Police under Napoleon. What mars the book slightly is the series of long conversation pieces in which a large amount of information is fed to the reader. But the pace picks up once the rebel plan is put into action and there are some deft twists at the end of the novel. Hawkwood is a delightfully unpredictable character and I look foward to his next outing.
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