An intriguing war novel.
Many war books especially naval war stories, have been written about World War Two and before. Some even delve further back into naval history to the days of sail.
However, very few naval fiction books have been written about the Falklands War. As war was never actually declared by either Argentina or Great Britain, we should actually refer to it as the Falklands Conflict.
At the age of thirty three, Commander Mike Mansfield is the youngest ever `Captain` in the Royal Navy. His first command is the type 42 destroyer, HMS Devonport. The weight of responsibility rests heavily on his shoulders. He is relentlessly tormented in a constant battle to prove he is up to the job, not only to his crew, but also to himself.
Does he have what it takes to overcome the doubts and fears of the two hundred and fifty two officers and men under his command?
Can he gain their respect?
His estranged wife Gill, a QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) nursing officer, is the one true love of his life. He fell hopelessly in love with her as a patient in The Royal Naval Hospital Stonehouse, Plymouth when he was sixteen. It was love at first sight. After many years in the Service together, she would now like them both to leave The Royal Navy. Navy life is all they have ever known, and she would now like them both to make a fresh start in `Civvy Street.` Maybe even start a family.
However, Mike feels an overwhelming desire to fulfil his destiny. Even though he`s not really sure exactly what that destiny is right now. As if he doesn`t have enough problems, his old enemy from his days as a sixteen year old Junior Seaman is never far away.
Gordon Bates has only one real pleasure in life; to inflict pain, misery and hurt into the lives of others, especially Mike. Luckily, his best friend Petty Officer Andy Hitchen is usually on hand to help and support him. Their unbreakable bond of friendship born from the time they joined-up together back in 1966.
Mike eventually finds himself embroiled in a war of attrition with his own insecurities, as he tries to conquer the inner demons which have plagued him throughout his life. His continual battle with mood swings, depression and low self- esteem, fuel an on-going saga in his own personal war. Not to mention his Achilles heel; seasickness.
Despite being a professional sailor for all his adult life, its ugly spectre still haunts him to this day. Whilst on NATO Exercises with other warships in the Mediterranean Sea, practising and honing their naval warfare techniques, an unfortunate maritime incident occurs. Mike finds himself now facing a court martial.
Will he lose his Commission and be dishonourably discharged from the Navy, or will justice prevail?
With his career in tatters and his marriage on the rocks, it seems things can`t get much worse.
Then, another fight appears on the horizon. The ruthless ruling Military Junta in Argentina invade The Falkland Islands. HMS Devonport is sent to the South Atlantic as part of a British Task Force, to reclaim them back for Britain.
Can Mike rise to the challenges ahead?
Does he have the courage within himself to equal the bravery of his crew?
Is he prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to win back The Falkland Islands?
Does he have what it takes to help win The Falklands War, and bring his ship and her crew back home safely?
Could this be his true destiny?