Alexander Kent,
Passage to Mutiny
(Hutchinson, 1976; McBooks, 1999)

The notes of war are sounding but the overture has not yet begun, so Richard Bolitho once again finds himself sent far from familiar seas. This time, he - in command of the frigate Tempest - is sent to the Great South Sea to protect English shipping lanes. Although fears of mutiny dog his heels - not from any outward problem among his own men, but because the crew of the Bounty recently overthrew their captain, Bligh, in these same waters - Bolitho's greater concern is the pirate, Tuke, who menaces the region with bloody cruelty.

Too, Bolitho finds himself in company with James Raymond, the ambassador whose wife the captain wooed and who, with feelings still strong, is accompanying her husband to his new post. It doesn't help that Raymond, angry and jealous, has authority over Bolitho's movements.

There are sea battles a-plenty here, as well as a heroic journey in a small boat, torture among the natives, fever and more. Passion is reignited and, once again, author Alexander Kent takes his readers in unexpected directions as Bolitho pulls victory from the jaws of defeat.

You'll find yourself surprised by some of the events in Passage to Mutiny. You'll be sickened by others. But this novel is the usual thrilling adventure we've come to expect from Kent (nee Douglas Reeman), and the ending will have you eagerly grasping for the next in the series.

book review by
Tom Knapp

24 November 2012

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