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4.4 out of 5 stars43
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2004
An excellent novel.
The story revolves around a misunderstood British naval officer who (for his sins) of being mis-quoted by a newspaper reporter after a naval battle early on in the First World War, is sent by the British Admiralty to the backwater of the Pacific to spend the rest of the war kicking his heals in obscurity.
However fate has a fickle sense of humour and a series of events leads to the crew of his new ship 'Thunder' (an old pre-dreadnought cruiser) seeing him and his actions in a very different light, leading to some well described action sequences.
I'd recommend this book to any reader who is getting a little jaded of the 'action' genre.
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on 24 July 2013
A very good story written at a pace which keeps you captivated as a reader. It was welcoming to read a First World War book set away from Europe, reminding us that it was a World War, and not a European one. It was also good to read a story set at sea. Really very good.
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on 20 December 2013
1917, Commander David Smith is thought to have lost his nerve after being sunk in his previous ship and has had a high-profile affair with a society lady. To get him out of the way the Admiralty posts him to HMS Thunder, a superannuated cruiser patrolling the Pacific coast of South America. But when the ship's captain suffers a fatal accident and intelligence suggests that two powerful German surface raiders are headed for the area, Smith finds himself in command and very much in the war.

Short of fuel, outgunned and outpaced by the enemy ships he runs for a neutral port and is then faced with the choice of fighting against impossible odds or allowing Thunder to be interned.

This is a pacey thriller which keeps you gripped right from the start. Some of the characters are perhaps a little one-dimensional but it makes up for that with breathless action sequences and a strong plot. It put me in mind of Alistair Maclean books like HMS Ulysses.

It suffers from the curse of the OCR conversion. The letters "fl" in particular mostly being rendered as "H" or "B" - annoying in a book that's full of "flashes" from signal lamps and shell fire.

Poor presentation aside though, an entertaining seafaring thriller.
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on 9 May 2014
well worth reading if only for thr battle scenes.tremendous detail regarding the seamanship needed in those days to survivd sea battles
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on 8 May 2014
The plot is similar to The Battle of the River Plate, but it is an old British Cruiser that is being hunted by two German ships. There are a few typing errors, but this book is a good read. There is plenty of action and if you like Douglas Reeman's books, then this may be a good book for you.
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on 21 May 2014
While rather predictable, this book gives properly researched information on a little know aspect of WW1 in a fictional account of the war at sea. While some the character are ell drawn some could have been expanded and make only a cursory appearance.
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on 2 March 2014
If you like historical naval fiction this is one of those books that from the start you know you are not going to want to put down. Good story filled with believable characters. I am looking forward to reading more of his books.
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on 24 January 2014
I enjoyed reading this the book - a ripping yarn as they used to say. Gave it four stars only because of the poor OCR in places. Would recommend if you're into War stories.
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on 17 August 2014
A gripping yarn, but once again marred, for me, by the same editing/typing errors as previously commented upon.

I had intended reading all of this series, but have to weigh the irritation of these errors against the enjoyment of a good story.
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on 24 October 2015
Possibly Evans' best book but I have not read them all. Very authentic with a very clever plot. Really gripping and hard to put down. The ingenuity of the British captain as portrayed is probably a lesson in naval strategy worthy of a naval textbook!
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