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Enemy in Sight [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Alexander Kent , Michael Jayston
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2003
The sea war is still in the balance; Bolitho must risk everything with his new crew.

The Mediterranean, 1793: Despite Britain's successes, the outcome of the sea war is still in the balance. As soon as his ship's refit is completed, Captain Richard Bolitho is ordered to join the blockade off the French coast. Hyperion's new crew is still little better than a rabble. But if he is to be victorious, Bolitho must test them prematurely — and risk a court-martial if he fails.

From the Paperback edition.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

Product Description

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.


“One of our foremost writers of naval fiction.”
Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This may be the best so far Jan. 18 2004
This may be the best of the Bolitho series so far. Bolitho is wed and his 74-gun ship-of-the-line Hyperion goes into dry dock for a refit, including a new copper bottom, removing the forest of weed from her hull which has accumulated during her years of continuous service, slowing her down considerably.
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
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Mr. Kent does it again. Bolitho's adventures take him to duty blockading the French, then off to the distant edges of empire. The salt spray and billowing mainsails assail the reader with a sense of being aboard HMS Hyperion in rough seas and dangerous waters.
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.
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By A Customer
Enemy in Sight: Alexander Kent
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars although I don�t remember why Nov. 27 2001
I read Enemy in Sight! during the summer and for the life of me I can't remember much of it. I remember that Bolitho's personal life went south but the details of a book I read so recently are lost. What I do remember is a land engagement reminiscent of Lieutenant Hornblower and a sea chase at the end leading to a climactic battle. It was exciting at the time but has blurred with the other Bolitho novels in the last 3-4 months. Perhaps I read too much Bolitho too soon or perhaps it's that these novels are so formulaic that they all appear the same after awhile.
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.
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