Sharpe's Havoc, by Bernard Cornwell

This follows Sharpe's Rifles, and again takes place in Portugal, this time with Sharpe being charged with helping Colonel Christopher rescue Kate Savage, a young English woman living in a village some way behind the Portugese lines. But Colonel Christopher gives Sharpe the slip, and by the time Sharpe catches up with him, he's not only married Kate, but claims to be brokering a truce with the French, who he's been holding meetings with. Sharpe becomes steadily more convinced that Christopher is not the honourable gentleman he claims to be.

This book was very reminiscent of Sharpe's Rifles; not only was it set in Portugal, but, as in that story, Sharpe makes friends with a Portugese lieutenant and his company of soldiers, and the plot is interspersed with many skirmishes and battles. I think I prefer this style to that in Trafalgar and Fortress, where there's one huge finale of a battle at the end, and it rather feels like Sharpe's adventures have been forced to fit a real-life historical story.

Plenty of thrills in this one, good battle scenes, interesting story and satisfying (albeit a bit sudden) ending. Looking forward to the next one.

Completed : 16-Sep-2005 (audiobook, read by William Gaminara)

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