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The Straits of Treachery
BY Richard Hopton

Allison and Busby
23 April 2020/ ASIN: B081RZRSVR
Fiction /Historical/Military

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


September 1810: The English and French forces face each other across the Straits of Messina, with the French poised to invade Sicily. It is up to army officer Captain George Warne to investigate a possible spy as the French always seem to know what their opponents are going to do.

If you are a fan of the exploits of characters like Hornblower and Sharpe you will enjoy this first novel by new author Richard Hopton. Warne and his company wait anxiously as Murat’s forces amass ready for an invasion, and the author manages to conjure up the atmosphere of long periods of inactivity followed by quick bursts of action. Two men clash over a visiting lady; Warne leads forces on missions, spends time with his mistress and undertakes spying to hunt out the traitor. Swirling through the story are the frequent and vivid descriptions of the setting, with Messina coming to life in a few strokes. The book ends tidily enough but with many loose ends left tantalizingly for a possible sequel. As well as Warne, there are quite a few other characters with stories of their own, all of which have the potential to make for interesting reading. I hope this materializes and we get to read more about Warne and his men.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020