I actually read this before "In Enemy hands", and was shocked at the opening. DEAD? But the book had only just started! Honor Harrington is harder to kill than that, however.
This book wasn't what I expected, but I don't mean that in a bad way. Although people pick "Ashes of Victory" as a turning point for the Honor Harrington books, this is the first novel where it begins to focus on the lives of those who fight alongside her, or, in this case, in her absence. The universe of Honor Harrington ceases to revolve around one very impressive character, and takes on a life of its own. The glimpse into Havenite politics is fascinating, as is Honor's own family.
If you've never read Honor Harrington before, I wouldn't advise you to start with this one. Try "On Basilisk Station", because it is the first novel in the series, and its a series well worth reading. If you're familiar with HH, you'll get everything you've come to expect from this: great battles, internal struggles, dirty politics, and above all, wonderful characters.