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Port Royal (William Rennie 2) Paperback – 3 May 2007

9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; First Thus edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099474263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099474265
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"As with his great precursors Forester, Kent and O'Brian, it is in the great naval set-piteces that Smalley excels. His descriptions of the decisive sea battle that concludes the book is magnificent. He captures the stench of brutal conflict and the stink of unforgiving death in a series of scenes which at once thrill and horrify and which propel readers along at breakneck speed, leaving them, at the very end, gasping for breath. There can be no doubt that Port Royal represents storytelling at its very best." (Daily Express)

Book Description

'Salute a new master of the sea' Daily Express

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3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tony Watson VINE VOICE on 30 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 2nd book in the series recounting the exploits of Captain William Rennie and James Hayter, his 1st Lieutenant - involves the powerful & enigmatic Sir Robert Greer, Head of the fledgling secret service.
Hayter felt cheated by Greer after their recovery of a vast amount of bullion from the South Seas but receiving no 'prize money' and decides to send a letter to the admiralty. Greer is outraged and makes it abundantly clear that they can expect nothing, but must accept the next commission or take the consequences.
Again, the mission - on the face of it, a detailed survey of Jamaica's coastline - turns out to be a cover for something far darker than either Rennie or Hayter imagine.
The dependence on slaves for the success of Jamaican entrepreneurs horrifies and disgusts Rennie in particular, while the rampant sexual intrigues on the island threaten to destroy both of them. Hayter is saved the embarrassment of his infidelity by amnesia, brought about by a failed attempt on his life, orchestrated by ...? I suspect this may come back to haunt him ...
The intrigues and deception incense Hayter & Rennie which prompts a deception of their own when a chest of French gold comes their way.
The plot is sometimes slow, but this is a necessary ploy to underline the seeming futility of their mission.
This series is improving and I look forward to the next in the series. ****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roger on 10 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have now read the first two novels in this series and have found them reasonably readable, but not outstanding in this competitive sector - for me nowhere near as absorbing as Patrick O'Brian or Julian Stockwin for sea stories of the Napoleonic era. Having said that, I rather like the two central characters - so fallable, yet virtuous, and I will continue to follow them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. G. Stevens on 28 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a far better book than I was expecting based on most of the reviews here. The stories of a refreshingly human captain and his first mate have been very good so far with Jamaica vividly painted in the imagination. The Expedient is a far less brilliant ship than the Surprise with many flawed characters and this comes as something of a relief to be honest. There's plenty of manly heroism, buck swashling although it loses a star for the rubbish BANGBANGBANGBANGs in the sea battle.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. T. Dearden on 1 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
OK maybe not to everyone's taste, but 1 star? That's outrageous. I guess most of us will agree O'Brien is the benchmark with the full 5. Smalley's Expedient novels may fall short of that extremely high bar, so maybe award four, maybe 3 if you are feeling peevish. These books are GOOD. The dialogue is a particular strength, with a period feel and some real depth and insights into character motivation. My own quibble would be with the degree of luck/coincidence that is relied upon to resolve the plot, but that aside they are a charming read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Macmedal on 3 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
Port Royal is a decent enough read, although I found the story a little too predictable, the characters a little too shallow and far too modern. Not a patch on Richard Woodman or O'Brian, but nevertheless the book kept me entertained and left me wanting to read more.
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