Enemy in Sight Audio Cassette – Audiobook, May 2003
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From Library Journal
These are the four most recent titles in Kent's ongoing adventures of 18th-century fighting British sailor Richard Bolitho. Good fun for fans of nautical fiction.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Then, after six-months of a complete refit, she is ordered to blockade duty off France, and seconded to the command of Commodore (the lowest flag rank) Mathias Pelham-Martin, who proves to be an incompetent, egotistical officer who holds his rank only because of political influence ashore, and whose superior holds an old grudge against him.
I suspect that Kent uses these plots which include incompetent, unfeeling superior officers because virtually all of his adult readers have experienced such leadership at one time or other, rather than because the British Navy was rife with them. Certainly in the U.S. Navy, the superiors I served under were virtually all competent and dedicated officers. The incompetents get weeded out by the system rather rapidly. But the stories all seem to revolve around the Queegs and Blighs, as if they were common phenomenon. And every office, factory or warehouse knows of a supervisor who has been promoted because of politics or the "Peter principle," or an incompetent female who has slept her way to the top.
In this story, Kent takes us again on a chase to the West Indies and back, with lots of sea action, drama between him and his brother, Hugh, and nephew, and other twists of plot.
As usual, he breathes life into his characters and the story holds you spellbound. On one occasion, I kept reading until 2:00 a.m., and my wife was hollering at me. You should love this one!
Joseph (Joe) Pierre, USN(Ret)
author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
Again, Bolitho's private life seems to glow like a fresh candle, but reality quickly sets in as tragedy strikes, his brother appears and his brother's son steps aboard as a midshipman. Plenty of crackling cannon fire, splintered quarterdecks, flaming hulks, nasty Frenchmen who seem to ignore the conduct of behavior in war, a near mutiny as Bolitho, his incompetent commadore and his trusted friends Inch, Allday and Herrick help Sir Richard face danger and death on the high seas. The chapters when Bolitho leads a party across a swamp in small cutters is remarkable. Powerful stuff and makes one feel apart of the crew. Find yourself a berth, tighten a rag 'round yer ears, lad and watch for the French frigate on the starboard quarter, hull down.
A major strength of Kent's stories has always been the convincing and detailed descriptions of landings and small-boat operations by naval contingents. In this story Richard Bolitho, despite increasing rank, proves himself as addicted as ever to leading what are essentially forlorn hopes onshore while his subordinates are left in command of his ship. The account of getting a landing party and its equipment through a steaming tropical morass to take the enemy in the rear comes across as horribly realistic to this reader, who has had his own share of wading, sweating and swearing in mangrove swamps! The accounts of action afloat are equally convincing. Bolitho has to cope with yet another unsympathetic and incompetent superior officer but is sustained by "old stalwart" friends and companions, and the arrival of an important new one, even as personal tragedy adds to professional challenges. The contrast between the cold misery of blockade duty off the Biscay coast with the humid discomforts of Caribbean service is a memorable aspect of the story. Contacts with Dutch forces, which usually don't feature in these stories (Bolitho missed out on the Battle of Camperdown!) are another interesting aspect, the more poignant since the officers involve realise clearly that though they are allies for now, political forces outside their control will soon make them enemies. Overall, a very enjoyable addition to the series.
My advice to readers is to read the Bolitho books published before 1980 as this one was. They were all excellent action stories told with a WWII's veteran's knowledge of the horrors of war. Enemy in Sight! was from this period and I'll give it four stars accordingly even though my memory has failed me.