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Red Runs the Helmand

Red Runs the Helmand [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Mercer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Praise for To Do and Die:

'A finely-drawn depiction of battle and the camaraderie of war' Daily Mail

‘Mercer's prose is muscular yet silky smooth. His depiction of the experience of battle is unsurpassed’
Saul David, author of Zulu Dawn

‘An excellent fiction debut. Any more please?’
Military Illustrated

‘Mercer creates colourful, believable characters that stay true to the dialect of the time, but remain recognisable to any modern soldier. Fans of Sharpe, Flashman or Matthew Hervey should enjoy this novel’
Soldier magazine

Product Description

Set in the 1870s, this is a gripping adventure in which Mercer brilliantly reenacts the lives of soldiers in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.

Anthony Morgan, now just appointed as general, has two of his sons, one his legitimate heir, one his bastard, both fighting in the ranks.

Morgan has arrived just as one of the rival princelings has begun to control Herat, and is determined to carve out some power for himself, and so embarks upon marching to Kandahar, determined to remove the British governor and take the city and province as his own kingdom.

Morgan's life is not made easier by problems with the other generals and in particular his own difficulties in dealing with the growing rivalry between his two sons.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2456 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007302754
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VM64FS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,781 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in 1956, Patrick Mercer read History at Oxford University before joining the Army. He commanded his battalion in Bosnia and Canada. Previously receiving a gallantry commendation, he was awarded the OBE in 1997. In 1999, Patrick Mercer accepted a post as the Defence Reporter for the Today Programme. In the 2001 election, he won the Tory seat in Newark. A respected historian, he has already published a non-fiction account of the Inkerman battle during the Crimean War.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afghanistunning! 18 May 2011
The climax of Mercer's Anthony Morgan trilogy builds on the characters so brilliantly drawn in the first two novels. The switch into the first person for Tony's narrative is a particular strength and helps the audience to empathise with the protagonist even further than before.

The rivalry between Billy Morgan and Sam Keenan is the most compelling element of the book's narrative, with neither character crassly painted as either hero or anti-hero, while their father Tony struggles to mediate between the two of them while dealing with the huge pressure of his command.

As usual Mercer's depiction of battle is second to none. The new challenges of warfare presented by the Afghan terrain and the elusive nature of Ayub Khan's troops are no match for Mercer's pen. The return of Colour Sergeant Mcgucken was welcome as ever and the indomitable Pegg of the first two novels was more than adequately replaced by Eddie "Bottle" Battle.

However, it is the modern-day resonances that make Mercer's third book particularly effective. The parallels are there for anyone to see: the terrain, the opponent, the imperial overtones. Mercer handles these with a subtlety which is commendable, never forcing the comparison down your throat but presenting it for the perceptive reader.

A must read for any military history enthusiast. I only hope there are more novels to come from this promising author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My God! Maiwand! 25 May 2011
Quite simply a stunning end to the Anthony Morgan trilogy. Mercer's description of the Battle of Maiwand and the period leading up to it are superb. I do regret this is the last of the books in the series. Maiwand has to a great extent been largely forgotten, unless, like me you have a background in military history. The British Army had only just been defeated at Islandhlwana in 1879, and after Maiwand was to suffer defeat during the First Boer War of 1881.
The narrative is particularly strong in this book with Morgan's thoughts being described in the first person. I confess I did not enjoy this book as much as the first two in the series, but I fervently hope Mercer is going to write more military fiction, perhaps we can see how Billy and Sam develop as soldiers as there are plenty of wars to be fought, in Egypt, South Africa and France and Flanders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Military History 7 July 2011
A region that has been fought over for centuries, a region so hostile that Alexander the Great sought treaties with the locals rather than have to fight his way across the region.
It's a lesson that no one has learned and even today we seem to have forgotten!
Unlike the action that our troops are seeing today, this story is set in the time of Empire the time of great adventurers and privileged fools.
This the third book in Mercer's Anthony Morgan trilogy follows a British general (Morgan) through the political minefields of the day to day life in command to the action on the battlefields and the family quarrels between his two sons.
This is a story of blood action, old fashioned rifles and guts and for some glory and other a grim death in the arid regions of a hostile land. War is Hell and this story tells it straight...yet still leaves you with a wistful feeling of wanting to join our troops to share that glory, to be part of the great push for empire, to go where few have gone before.

The book has been excellently written to cover the history but allow the reader to see the parallels with today's troubles.
If you like your military history then you will love this book and the rest of the series.


Product Description (from back of book)
Set in the 1880s, this is a gripping adventure in which Mercer brilliantly reenacts the lives of soldiers in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
Anthony Morgan, now just appointed as general, has two of his sons, one his legitimate heir, one his bastard, both fighting in the ranks.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fine military book of the British in Afghanistan during Queen Victoria's reign written by a former soldier.
A lot of period military detail hard to put down
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book 23 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really good book which I enjoyed all the way through. This is one of my favourite authors Looking forward to the next one
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5.0 out of 5 stars Part of set. 14 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Set bought for husband.
Good mix of historical fact / novel.
He enjoyed the set - Author is ex military.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First rate & highly evocative of the period 1 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The story is based on the battle of Mainwand, Afganistan, in 1880 and stands on its own - you don't need to have read the two two previous books of the trilogy to enjoy this fully - and I would say this one is better than the others. There is a Kipling-like understanding of the military mind of all ranks and indeed of the Indian Army of the time that brings the characters and location alive. A lesser author would have chosen one of the more victorious episodes of the period but I suspect Mercer deliberately wants to draw some comparison with current events in that province. As a result, the lead role has to be more rounded than an all-conquering Sharpe or Mathew Hervey, and Mercer manages that with Brig. Gen. Morgan. If I have any quibble, it is his derogatory characterisation of the most senior officers - especially Roberts, which I view as unwarranted - which detracts from the tale somewhat. Nevertheless, a thoroughly good read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Excellent read, know the auther and hope he gets a few more books out to follow on from this one.
Published 21 months ago by Dave Middlemiss
4.0 out of 5 stars the Maiwand Heroes
Once again the author captures the pain, the fear, the blood letting of battle. Maiwand was a battle to rival Rival Rourkes Drift the year before, it was a terrible time for the... Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2012 by Don't tell him your name Pike
4.0 out of 5 stars Handling weapons and inter-rank discipline.
The final volume in the enjoyable 'page turning triology'.The general accuracy of the three story-lines is good, however, I take issue with Patrick Mercer on his version of... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2012 by Big Fella
4.0 out of 5 stars Red runs the Helmund
It took me a while to get used to the use of the first person. This hadn't been used in the two previous novels in the Morgan trilogy. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2012 by John Townsend
3.0 out of 5 stars book
In my opinion not as well written as Patrick Mercer`s previous books . An average read the plot took quite a few chapters to hold the attention.
Published on 7 May 2012 by Rollo
5.0 out of 5 stars book
I bought the book as a gift for my husband and he enjoyed reading very good buy.I understood is very good writer
Published on 15 Oct 2011 by onifer
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read!!
The first mercer novel ive read - Ive already ordered the other two! Really exiting battle scenes and beleivable characters. Should be on everybody's summer reading list.
Published on 18 May 2011 by Susan Jeans
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