Broos Campbell,
Matty Graves #3: Peter Wicked
(McBooks, 2008)

Things don't begin too well for Matty Graves when Peter Wicked picks up where The War of the Knives left off.

He's recovering from injury and illness. He's in hot water for his involvement in a duel that led to the death of a ship's captain (his cousin). He's lost his status as acting lieutenant and is back among the ranks of the lowly midshipmen. His best friend proves boorish, his true love proves both fickle and shallow, and his family is dull and demanding.

It can only get better for poor Matty from here, right?

Well, yes. At least, he does get another ship, this time commanding a small vessel on a very important and secret mission. Of course, his career rides on handling it properly -- and it's no easy task, considering he has to track down his former commander, Peter Wickett, who has absconded with a U.S. Navy vessel and gone pirating with his crew, and bring him to heel without letting news of Wickett's treasonous act reach the public's ears.

Broos Campbell has once again kept me engrossed in his tales of Matty Graves and America's fledgling navy. The author has a gift for both story and dialogue, and the subtle, wry wit of his characters kept me smiling.

The only cause for dismay is that Peter Wicked ends the Matty Graves trilogy. Is there a fourth book on the horizon? Does Campbell have another series in the works? Time will tell, but I will be greatly disappointed if he doesn't produce something soon.

[ visit the author's website ]

review by
Tom Knapp

20 February 2010

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