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To Do and Die Hardcover – 30 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007302789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007302789
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 797,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Review

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

About the Author

Born in 1956, Patrick Mercer read History at Oxford University before joining the Army where he commanded his battalion in Bosnia and Canada. Previously receiving a gallantry commendation, he was awarded the OBE in 1997. In 1999, he accepted a post as the Defence Reporter for the Today Programme before turning to politics. In the 2001 election, Patrick Mercer 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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Harkness on 20 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Patrick Mercer is a leading authority on the Crimean War and has already published authoratitive accounts of the campaign. With such extensive first-hand knowledge, it has been only a small step for him to cross the line into fiction. And yet it is fiction based on a real historical character, accurately set against a gruelling and forgotten war, and written by a man who has himself led men on operations and knows first-hand the realities of combat. The combination has produced an excellent book that conjures up the sounds, taste and feel for war.

The awkwardness in portraying the love affair between officer and erstwhile maid reflects the genuine awkwardness that would have existed. Similarly the fear that grips Morgan on returning to the front line after being injured is one shared by many soldiers; it doesn't prevent him from doing his duty, but it knaws at him nevertheless.

There are many authors who write military novels, but few who have the knowledge and experience to do so with feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed Patrick Mercer's first novel, not just because I am a soldier and budding historian, but because it rings true. I hope a second novel will follow shortly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Barbar TOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really decent effort at some fiction set during the Crimean War (a much under-used setting for Historical fiction). This has us following Tony Morgan and his company - along with teh love of his life who is following the army because Tony is fighting there but married to one of Tony's Sergeants.

I am not too bothered with the "love interest" (!) but the Crimean War aspects are excellent. Mercer describes the troop movements and scenes of action in excellent detail. recommended!
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By L. Holloway on 25 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
No maps, no diagrams. This novel does not need them. Patrick Mercer's depth of research and descriptive excellence takes you effortlessly from Ireland to the Balkans on a sometimes bloody, sometimes tender but always human journey.

Military history is not a genre I have read much before, but I enjoyed the battle scenes which were gory and bloody but extremely exciting and brought hand to hand battle to life.

The characters are well drawn, the romance sensitively portrayed, and I liked the details and explanations; did you know the rifle bullets were as big as the end of your thumb? or that soldiers opened their mouths wide in order to hear better? neither did I, and I was pleased to learn small details which helped build the bigger picture.

The relationships between the officers and men rang true and the dialogue was realistic and believable; the banter between the men was often amusing and I laughed out loud several times.

By the end of the book I felt I knew all the characters well and am looking forward to meeting them all again in the sequel. Can't wait to read the next one.

I am so pleased to have discovered both a type of history I have not read before, and a talented author who writes it like it is. (or was)!
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Format: Paperback
The historical fiction genre is getting so crowded its hard for a new author to introduce his character into a time frame that someone else does not currently inhabit. Lt Anthony Morgan therefore has to fight the same war as Sgt 'Fancy' Jack CrossmanThe Devil's Own: Sergeant Jack Crossman and the Battle of the Alma (Sergeant 'Fancy Jack' Crossman Series). This in no way detracts from the story, it's merely an observation on my part.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book the character of Anthony Morgan is of Irish Gentry and a young officer in a British infantry regiment. The story covers his life in Ireland and his time in the army during the run up and early stages of the Crimean War. There are lots of excellant supporting characters who fill the story, it's always interesting to see how many of these will survive into later entries into the series. He of course has a nemises, a loyal right hand man and a love interest.

I eagerly anticipate the next entry in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Earl Grey on 14 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
I had high hopes of this book but found I had to force myself to plod through to the end. The problem is that the central character is one dimensional and unconvincing even though there is an attempt to give him some sort of hinterland. I really did not care what happened to him or his associates.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Spilsbury on 20 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has read Patrick Mercer`s masterly account of the Battle of Inkermann (Spelmount 1998) will have been looking forward to his first novel, set during the Crimean War. They will not have been disappointed. Mercer places his hero at the heart of events in this tragic bloody and heroic conflict. Based on a real character, Lieutenant Anthony Morgan is an officer in the fighting 95th (nicknamed as `The Nails` for their strength and resilience)The battle pieces are vivid and - I speak as a historian of that war - utterly convincing. An ex-officer who has commanded his own battalion on active service, Mercer has an understanding of soldiers and their attitudes combined with a strong `feel` for nineteenth century Britain- but this is more than just a `Boy`s Own` adventure. Morgan`s `below stairs` love affair is both tender and touching and written with a retraint that is both refreshing and entirely appropriate for the period. The word is that Mercer is working on a follow-up novel set during the Indian Mutiny, in which the `Nails` were also involved. This reviewer can hardly wait - for readers still mourning the passing of Richard Sharpe and Harry Flashman this book represents a new star in the firmament.
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