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on 22 April 2008
I discovered the Crossman books quite late and am slowly working my way through them. I have enjoyed the earlier books but found this one a little disappointing. The previous books have followed Cornwell's Sharpe template. A mission for the hero, a run in with some suitably stupid officers, an equally suitable villain and ending up with the hero taking part in a famous set piece battle. But in this book Kilworth seems to have changed tack and I think there is a clue as to why, halfway through the book when Crossman spies an old ship out at sea - 'the Surprise'. Readers of Patrick O'Brian will recognise this as the favourite ship of Jack Aubrey, and it is the Aubrey / Maturin novels that appear to be the template for the Winter Soldiers. Thus in amongst the missions we get a lot of detail about army life, a somewhat farcical interval where Crossman is asked to run an Army school, a sub plot about a corrupt general that goes nowhere and lots about Crossman's love life, Lady Lavinia (again) and a tedious new character Cousin Jane. The set piece battle at the end, although brilliantly described as usual, occupies just ten pages. Unfortunately Kilworth does not have O'Brian's skill in evoking the period and mixing the mundane with short periods of feverish action and I found the book dragged. Hopefully he returns to winning ways in the next instalment.
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on 11 January 2013
Enjoyed the book along with the others in the series however there appears to be a part of the story missing from the kindle edition. At 89% the engagement with the deserters is in mid flow without any lead in suggesting that one or two pages are missing.
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on 13 January 2013
A continuing saga, with correct firearms used, delineates the usual British upper cllass twits leading our armies, and what the troops had to contend with.
It builds on the little "special forces troop as they would now be called"
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on 6 November 2010
Garry Douglas Kilworth is a very readable author i.e. his characters plausible and background on the Crimean War well researched giving his books an authentic feel. As with his previous books, the Winter Soldiers describes the rank disorganisation and sometimes callous approach of the leadership towards the rank and file who either suffer in silence or desert. Crossman is an engaging figure who despite this environment still manages to overcome the obstacles placed in his way. I have ordered the next one!
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on 23 December 2010
Excellent book follows on from his other books, thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes C.S. Forrester or Bernard Cornwells Sharpe books.
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on 25 July 2002
Its been a couple of years since I read the last Crossman novel and this one was a welcome surprise. Like the others, The Winter Soldiers did not fail to engage me. I love the way the author mingles action with the lighter side of army society, much in the way Kipling used to with his Indian stories. One gets to see several facets of the main character this way, and also many of the other characters. A very enjoyable and exciting read.
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on 22 March 2012
A good enough read, but has some strange storylines and adventures for the main character. While perfectly acceptable it falls short of the previous Crossman novels and indeed seems to feature very little "battlefield" action this time around. But worth reading if you're into this series and wouldn't put me off more of this author's work.
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on 7 November 2013
This is book four in the series and hasn't had the same page turning ability of the first three, a bit of a flat line really few ups and few downs! However the last few pages were written with such feeling for soldiers in war it very nearly made up for the first 95%. I have really enjoyed these books and look forward to getting number 5
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on 7 September 2013
This is an earlier story of Fancy Jack Crossman. It introduced us to the character and set the scene for the following stories. I was amazed about the revelations of how the troops were treated. The battle scenes were very well handled.
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on 30 December 2014
Good book, once I got stuck into it I didn't want to put it down....so I didn't! Might get the rest of the series. A bit along the same lines as. "Sharpe" but set in the Crimean War
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