Age of Sail / Book Review / Book Series / George Markham / Main Character / Nautical Fiction / Royal Navy / Tom Connery

Honour Be Damned, by Tom Connery

After completing the siege of a French fortress in Corsica, and bravely having cut out and destroyed a French supply ship in a naval action,  the outspoken and unfortunate Lieutenant George Markham and his men are assigned to a sloop under the impetuous Captain George Germain of the H.M.S. Syilphide.

Before long, Germain’s foolhardy hunt for glory throws Markham and his “lobsters” into desperate ship-to-ship action. Fortunately, fighting hand-to-hand is what battle-hardened Marines do best. Even so, it is only Markham’s quick assessment of a very dangerous situation that allows them to break off the action in time and save lives.

Next, Markham is ordered ashore to escort a group of French royalists on a secret mission involving a hidden treasure. Dodging the French patrols is particularly hazardous on a mission, as Markham is shackled with a French count, a devious prelate, a young lady, and their contingent of servants.

Honour Be Damned is full of hidden agendas, betrayals, and schemes. The plot is interesting and the action well-paced. Generally, the book is well written. But some of the elements of the book are relatively implausible, and there are things that suggest that the research is not quite good enough.

The final betrayal in this book, the last so far in The Markham of the Marines series, is that Germain wrongfully denounces Markham to the Admiralty. So once more the brave and excellent lieutenant is left seriously out of favor with his superiors. Honour Be Damned is a readable and entertaining historical novel – good but far from excellent.