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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
10
3.7 out of 5 stars


VINE VOICEon 30 November 2010
The 2nd book in the series recounting the exploits of Captain William Rennie and James Hayter, his 1st Lieutenant - involves the powerful & enigmatic Sir Robert Greer, Head of the fledgling secret service.
Hayter felt cheated by Greer after their recovery of a vast amount of bullion from the South Seas but receiving no 'prize money' and decides to send a letter to the admiralty. Greer is outraged and makes it abundantly clear that they can expect nothing, but must accept the next commission or take the consequences.
Again, the mission - on the face of it, a detailed survey of Jamaica's coastline - turns out to be a cover for something far darker than either Rennie or Hayter imagine.
The dependence on slaves for the success of Jamaican entrepreneurs horrifies and disgusts Rennie in particular, while the rampant sexual intrigues on the island threaten to destroy both of them. Hayter is saved the embarrassment of his infidelity by amnesia, brought about by a failed attempt on his life, orchestrated by ...? I suspect this may come back to haunt him ...
The intrigues and deception incense Hayter & Rennie which prompts a deception of their own when a chest of French gold comes their way.
The plot is sometimes slow, but this is a necessary ploy to underline the seeming futility of their mission.
This series is improving and I look forward to the next in the series. ****
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on 10 December 2010
I have now read the first two novels in this series and have found them reasonably readable, but not outstanding in this competitive sector - for me nowhere near as absorbing as Patrick O'Brian or Julian Stockwin for sea stories of the Napoleonic era. Having said that, I rather like the two central characters - so fallable, yet virtuous, and I will continue to follow them.
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on 28 September 2008
This is a far better book than I was expecting based on most of the reviews here. The stories of a refreshingly human captain and his first mate have been very good so far with Jamaica vividly painted in the imagination. The Expedient is a far less brilliant ship than the Surprise with many flawed characters and this comes as something of a relief to be honest. There's plenty of manly heroism, buck swashling although it loses a star for the rubbish BANGBANGBANGBANGs in the sea battle.
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on 1 December 2008
OK maybe not to everyone's taste, but 1 star? That's outrageous. I guess most of us will agree O'Brien is the benchmark with the full 5. Smalley's Expedient novels may fall short of that extremely high bar, so maybe award four, maybe 3 if you are feeling peevish. These books are GOOD. The dialogue is a particular strength, with a period feel and some real depth and insights into character motivation. My own quibble would be with the degree of luck/coincidence that is relied upon to resolve the plot, but that aside they are a charming read.
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on 3 November 2007
Port Royal is a decent enough read, although I found the story a little too predictable, the characters a little too shallow and far too modern. Not a patch on Richard Woodman or O'Brian, but nevertheless the book kept me entertained and left me wanting to read more.
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on 17 July 2007
What a disappointment! The plot sounded so interesting in the blurb, but actually was not. There was absolutely no build up of the storyline at all and the ending, far from being an exciting sea battle, was quite dull. Due to the style of writing, with 18th century dialect, it took a long time to read and I almost gave up on several occasions as i really was not enticed into finding out what would happen to the ship and crew. Only my sheer stubbornness to finish a book i'd started kept me going. Don't waste your money buying this - it is dull, dull, dull!!!
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on 4 August 2007
Browsing an airport stall I saw Port Royal and thought: great, more sea stories in the vein of Obrian and Hornblower and Ramage, as the cover blurb would lead you to believe. But Oh dear whata desperate disappointment. No plot, no action, no build up of characters in short its a very poor read. In an effort to see if I was missing anything I turned to Amazon reviews for a second opinion and it appears I am not alone. Really dont bother!
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on 18 November 2015
Good quality
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on 17 February 2015
A good read
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on 28 July 2015
loved it!
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