Move over Harry Flashman, there's a new cad in town! The first in the Martin Jerrold series of historical adventure novels in the vein of Flashman and Sharpe.
Not many men emerged from Trafalgar without an ounce of credit to their names, but courtesy of an over-fondness for rum and his habitual bad luck, Lieutenant Martin Jerrold managed it. In February 1806, he is given one final chance to redeem his reputation and dispatched to Dover.
Things don't augur well when, walking off the effects of a night in the tavern, Jerrold stumbles across a corpse lying on the beach. And they take a distinct turn for the worst when, to his horror and bemusement, he is suspected of murder. With a captain who despises him, and the local magistrate determined to see him hang, he knows clearing his name will require an imporbable reversal of his miserable fortunes. Somewhere in Dover's twisted streets, someone must know something. But Jerrold soon discovers that nothing is as it seems in a town where smuggling is a way of life, where everyone from the fishermen to the colonel of dragoons drinks only the finest French brandy...
Distrusted by his superiors, set upon by suspiciously well-informed thugs and attacked by the French at sea, Jerrold does find some sympathy in the less-than-respectable arms of the comely Isobel, but he knows he has but two weeks to save his skin - or perish in the attempt.
“'Will fill the gaping hole stoved in the timbers of the sea-saga genre by the sad death of Patrick O'Brian...Jerrold swashes his buckles and splices his mainbraces to good effect'”
Scotland on Sunday
“'At last, the nautical Flashman! Martin Jerrold looks set to become one of the great British anti-heroes, boozing and lusting his way through Regency England'”
“'This is a great book, exciting and utterly unique. Edwin Thomas's portrayal of the 18th Century is spot on, from his depiction of the smugglers' underworld to life aboard a small British navy man-of-war. And while other writers have achieved the same, Thomas has created in Lt. Martin Jerrold someone whom the reader of nautical fiction has never seen before - a character we love despite ourselves, and despite his many faults, faults to which he himself happy admits. Jerrold is no dashing and fearless naval hero, he revels in and celebrates his own shortcomings and ineptitude and he takes us happily along on that wild and hilarious ride. For the lover of naval fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, this book has it all. I eagerly await the next.'”
“'Rip-roaring...a rollicking yarn with razor-sharp dialogue, introducing a hilarious protagonist'”
Good Book Guide