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DEVIL TO PAY (Richard Delancey Novels) Paperback – 1 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: BURFORD BOOKS,U.S. (1 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590130022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590130025
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,301,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Ranked a lieutenant despite his undistinguished naval career, Richard Delancey lands a special secret mission, thanks to his command of French. To his chagrin, this mission goes awry. But casting about for fresh opportunity, Delancey becomes involved in customs collection on the Isle of Wight and thwarting the high-stakes activities of smugglers. His success lands him in command of a private man-of-war, the 22-gun Nemesis, about to embark on further adventures.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Fred on 18 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Looked forward to picking the book up on every occasion. There were occasions when a bit of extra detail would not have gone amiss. Nevertheless on the whole a thoroughly enjoyable book and I look forward to reading the remaining novels in the series.
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By Keith Lacey on 24 April 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Fast delivery. V good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Readable, very different from Hornblower 14 Sept. 2003
By M. Broderick - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deals with Lieutenant Richard Delancey's efforts to find a purpose and direction in his career after stagnating for several years. It is the second in a series, I didn't read the first one, but didn't feel like I'd lost much by skipping it.
For the first two-thirds of the book, the "purpose and direction" plot dominated (at least for me) the naval elements of the story. In fact, very little of the book covers dashing nautical adventure of the type C.S. Forester might have written--Most of it takes place on shore, and the ships seem to be just platforms and vehicles, rather than central elements. Naval battles barely intrude into the story at all.
As another reviewer commented, the last third of the book deals with a spy mission similar to the unfinished Hornblower novel. In effect, the book is four different "episodes" strung together. It is adequately good reading, but not brilliant. The most interesting part for me was watching Delancey grow in ability, find a purpose, and gain confidence in himself as an officer and a leader.
Not a brilliant book, but good enough to make me seek out others in the series (this is the first one I read). I'd give it three-and-a-half stars, if I could.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This novel contains secret missions, duels, privateering 30 July 1998
By Booledozer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In 1794 war with France gives Lt Richard Delancey his first active duty since the American Revolution. Delancey's previous naval career was undistiguished. He has no naval mentors, so he is pleased that his knowledge of French, gained through being a native of Guernsey, has lead to him to called on for a special mission landing secret agents in France.
Through no fault of his own, the secret mission further tarnishes his reputation and prospects. It leads to a duel. Reduced to his half-pay Delancey is ready to seize any opportunity.
A chance encounter leads to Delancey learning that the Captain of a customs vessel has been injured. He seizes his chance! He decides that if he carries the news to the Customs Collector for the Isle of Wight he may receive an interim appointment to replace the injured man.
It is not a great opportunity. His acting command only has a crew of 20. And his only hope of remuneration lies in figuring out how to outsmart the wily sm! ugglers. But at least he is at sea.
Delancey's brief experience in the world of intelligence pays off. He has first one, then two, then three early successes. Delancey's confidence returns. He has mastered this task sufficiently well that he realizes that the owners of the smuggling vessels will take steps to keep their vessels out of his grasp. Perhaps they will send them to other parts of the coast?
No, instead he is offered a much better job by a gentleman he suspects owns several smuggling vessels. He is offered the command of a private man of war, the 22 gun Nemisis, based in his home town of St Peter's Port.
Delancey has further adventures aboard the Nemesis, and ashore in France and Spain.
I'll close this review with two comments. I know of no other novel of this period that deal with the nautical aspect of collecting customs duty. I regret that this novel lay out of print for such a long time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Book No. 2 of the Richard Delancey series 27 Dec. 2001
By Fred Camfield - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel, first published in the U.S. in 1973, jumps forward over 11 years from the end of book No. 1 in the series. The reader finds himself in the middle of a scene in 1794 with no knowledge of preceding actions. Richard Delancey is still a lieutenant - assigned to the Grafton, a hulk at permanent anchor, after some unexplained incident alluded to in the plot. A temporary assignment takes him back to Guernsey and the coast of France, but he then finds himself on the beach again, unemployed with no prospects.
Being in the right place at the right time, Delancey receives the temporary command of a Revenue Service cutter. His success leads to certain business interests offering him command of a privateer both in recognition of his abilities and as a means of removing him from the Revenue Service where he was a bit too successful. This provides Delancey with some profit, but also leaves him shipwrecked on the French coast and attempting to escape through Spain, just as the Spanish are entering the war. The remainder of the novel covers his flight through a hostile countryside, and action in Leon as he rejoins the Royal Navy.
The story is a mixture of action on land and at sea. Delancey has some interesting interactions with smugglers. Interaction with smugglers was also used in the plot of "Ramage and the Guillotine" by the late Dudley Pope.
Excellent book! 4 Jan. 2014
By DonLallier - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written with good ACTION!
The author has good grasp of the times.
I hope to read more novels by this author
Would like to see listing of books by this author.
Would recommend books by this author to anyone.
Enjoyable Read 25 Nov. 2012
By Essexmom - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave this rating because the author has tendency to breeze over certain parts of the story line. I liked the book because I love nautical fiction. I recommend this to anyone who likes the genre - the character is interesting and finds himself in plausible situations.
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