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Troubled Waters: An Alan Lewrie Naval Adventure [Hardcover]

Dewey Lambdin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jan. 8 2008 Alan Lewrie Naval Adventures (Book 14)

The fourteenth tale in Dewey Lambdin’s classic naval adventure series

Spring of 1800, and Captain Alan Lewrie, fresh from victory in the South Atlantic, is reckoned a hero on a par with Nelson in all the papers. Back in England, he’s fitting out his new frigate, HMS Savage, the fruits of that victory, the largest and best-armed frigate he’s ever commanded. But you can’t leave Lewrie ashore too long without trouble arising.

A Jamaica court has tried him in absentia and sentenced him to hang for the theft of a dozen Black slaves to man his old ship, HMS Proteus. A crime, or was it liberation, as his London barrister argues? The vengeful slaveowner, Hugh Beauman, has come to London to seek Lewrie’s end . . . with or without the majesty of the Law!

Then there’s the matter of those anonymous letters sent to his wife, Caroline, portraying him as a faithless rakehell and serving up the most florid lies . . . along with some unfortunately florid truths. Lewrie appeals to the “retired” Foreign Office spy, Zachariah Twigg, to “smoak out” the hand that guides the poison pen, even while wondering why Twigg seems so eager to help his legal case, of a sudden. Is the devious old devil ready to sacrifice him for some motive of his own?

A fortunate legal ruling, which only delays the matter of Lewrie’s utter ruin, leaves him free to take Savage to sea upon the King’s business, to join the close blockade of the Gironde River in Sou’west France, and plug the threat of enemy warships, privateers, and  neutrals smuggling goods in and out of Bordeaux. It could be a dull and plodding dreariness, but . . . a bored Captain Alan Lewrie, safe in his post for the moment, can be a dangerous fellow to his country’s foes. If only to relieve the tedium!   


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

During the Napoleonic Wars, Royal Navy Capt. Alan Lewrie (Sea of Grey) finds that he has been sentenced to death in absentia by a Jamaican kangaroo court for stealing slaves, and is pursued to England by enemies trying to carry out that sentence. As the famously byzantine British legal system grinds on, Lewrie becomes a cause célèbre among William Wilberforce's abolitionists, who hire a hotshot barrister to defend Lewrie. While waiting for his case to come up, Lewrie (released until then because of his social standing) returns to H.M.S. Savage, now on blockade duty off southwest France. He quickly turns a dull assignment on its ears by organizing an amphibious raid against fortifications on the French coast while dealing with an old rival with a grudge and a secret. Lambdin manages to make the Bleak House–like British legal system of the era comprehensible to the layman, while his mastery of period naval warfare gives his battles real punch. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for Dewey Lambdin and the Alan Lewrie series


 “You could get addicted to this series. Easily.”

---The New York Times Book Review


“The brilliantly stylish American master of salty-tongued British naval tales.”

---Kirkus Reviews


“The best naval adventure series since C. S. Forester.”

---Library Journal


“Lewrie is a marvelous creation, resourceful and bold.”

---James L. Nelson, author of the Revolution at Sea Saga


“[A] rousing series of nautical adventures."




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First Sentence
Captain Alan Lewrie, RN, stepped out of the doors of the George Inn, just as the watch bells of a myriad of warships and merchant vessels in Portsmouth Harbour began to chime the end of the Morning Watch-Eight Bells, and the start of the Forenoon-in a distant, jangly ting-tinging much like what a rider near London might hear from church bells of a Sunday morning. Read the first page
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lewrie's past catching up??? Oct. 18 2009
Past exploits are catching him up. A good read but less 'action' than normal. The old British legal system is paramount to this tale and does get a little tedious. Other than that, the saga cotinues....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Napoleonic War military tale Jan. 11 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
In the early nineteenth century as England fights Napoleon, Royal Navy Captain Alan Lewrie learns that he has been sentenced to death in absentia by a Jamaican court allegedly for stealing slaves. Those who arranged the sham trial have come to England to execute him, claiming they carry out a legal sentencing that England by law must adhere to.

Meanwhile William Wilberforce and his abolitionist backers see Lewrie as an opportunity to focus on the inhumanity of slavery. They hire him a highly regarded barrister to defend him in court once his case appears on the docket. Freed because he is an aristocrat, Lewrie returns to his ship the H.M.S. Savage, blockading the seas off southwest France. Instead of sitting around, Lewrie sees a chance to cause havoc by leading a naval assault against the French coast.

The Lewrie historical naval novels (see A KING'S COMMANDER and A KING'S TRADE, etc.) are always some of the best Napoleonic War military tales around. TROUBLED WATERS is much more although the at sea battles are as great as ever. However, this time the audience also gets a chance to follow the English legal system that makes the DNA double helix look like a kindergarten puzzle. Dewey Lambkin keeps his excellent series fresh and exciting.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Troubled Waters Feb. 9 2008
By Karen Thompson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy this author's books. None of the Alan Lewrie books have been a disappointment. They are a clever, witty story that leave you excited for the next installment in the series.

If you're looking for a story with lots of cannon fire, smoke, guns and swords crossed then look no futher. Be sure to start at the beginning of the series with book #1 Kings Coat.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First, shoot the lawyers May 19 2009
By tertius3 - Published on
Remarkably, this 14th Alan Lewrie novel begins with a new ship and a new 1st Lt. for Capt. Lewrie, eliciting pages of retellings of all the earlier tales of lucky, rakehell Lewrie. Strange. We don't get our cutwaters wet with a new adventure until halfway through this book; half way! But, I admit, the earlier legal wranglings come to a nice head by then--if ye have a mind fer ancient social mores and courthouse antics.

What new views of naval life do we get here? Capt. Lewrie is fitting out a new, better frigate, but we see more details of his ward, Sophie's, wedding. And more of the long-running, potentially lethal law case against him that fearfully drags on--with interesting details of how witnesses would be handled at trial. Remarkably, we finally get to read one of the infamous, anonymous, scurrilous letters that for years now have strained Lewrie's relations with his wife. Ah, whot troubl'd waters this mighty captain swims. Yet not so explicitly compromising as it would have been, I bet, if published in the days of Lewrie's rather graphic amours early in the series.

The title refers as much to the ongoing law suit against Capt. Alan Lewrie for theft and impressment of slaves, as to the French river mouth where his new ship patrols in 1800. The mission for small ships which Lewrie concocts on station is pointless--what do the British gain from their harrassment if they don't also plan to destroy the French ships abuilding? Lewrie should be charged with pointless murder, instead.

My title is also a recommendation to Dewey Lambdin.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great chapet in the Alan Lewrey saga. April 16 2009
By GI Jack - Published on
One of the best nautical fiction series now available. The series should be rated R due to the "rowdy/randy" main character, but you cannot ignore the brilliance of the author in portraying life on a man-o-war in the age of sail. His historical accuracy is refreshing as is his character development. Most main characters in this genre' of novels are princes, nearly perfect; but not Alan Lewrey. His lack of self control when away from hearth and home land him in more trouble than the combined fleets of the U.S. Navy, France, Spain and Holland. With the warning to the character flaw of the main character, you can't help but wish the author could write FASTER! Hang in there Alan, it can't get any worse... or can it?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional series Nov. 29 2010
By Old Hand - Published on
Having just finished book fourteen of this series, I want the author to know that he should keep writing. I've read the Hornblower series and the Aubrey-Maturin series. This Lewrie series is a little more bawdy, but very comparable to the Aubrey series and better than the Hornblower series. With each book the author is improving his stories. By "Troubled Water", the protogonist is now a post capitan with real life worries - marriage, work, legal. Although to modern sensibilities some of the predicaments seems bizarre, I suspect that they are historically accurate. So if you liked Aubrey, give this series a try. A few scenes are R rated, but the vast majority of the book is G.
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