Dudley Pope,
The Ramage Touch
(Martin Secker & Warburg, 1979; McBooks, 2001)

It's not like Nicholas Ramage even wanted a pair of bomb ketches.

The two slow-moving and unwieldy boats have little tactical value on a mission such as his. His frigate Calypso, after all, is a swift and graceful ship charged with raising mayhem in the French-controlled Mediterranean Sea. Those bomb ketches would only slow him down, and he couldn't really spare the men to crew them, even so.

But there they were, right in front of him. It's like he had no choice but to capture them. And, once he had them, he might as well find some use for them, right? After all, they pack a powerful punch.

Of course he will, and knowing Ramage -- and author Dudley Pope -- he'll find something especially clever to do with them.

The Ramage Touch is not the most thrilling of the books in this long-running series, nor are the stakes as high as they've been in some recent volumes. The writing continues to be strong, however, and Pope's characters -- Ramage foremost among them -- keep readers involved. I'm eager to see where his Mediterranean cruise takes him next.

book review by
Tom Knapp

12 July 2014

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