Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Cornwell delivers his usual terrific novel that makes you feel like you are in the thick of things.
Sam and Nate Gilpin (twin brothers) joined the British Army and the only escape is death though Nate longs to run away with Maggie (Sargent Scammell's wife) and start a new life in America. Sam is content being a solider and fears for his brother's life if he attempts to escape (desert) the army. When Same and Nate are captured by the American Rebels they meet Jonathan Becket (Rebel) who received a grievous wound to his leg, and are ordered to treat him. Learning of Nate's desire to run away and join the Americans, Jonathan offers to help if Sam will capture the horse that has appeared in their mist. While Sam is trying to capture the horse, the American lines are overrun by the British and Sargent Scammell shoots Nate in the back. Jonathan is taken prisoner by the British and Scammell further wounds his leg.
Captain Vane sees Sam with his horse and when Sam attacks Scammell for killing his brother intervenes and makes Sam his servant. The British have taken over Philadelphia and the Tories (Loyalist) rejoice. Jonathan's widowed sister Martha (Rebel spy) goes to Sir William to beg for his release so she can get him medical treatment. Captain Vane falls for Martha and helps expedient her brother's release into her care. With Sam's help Jonathan begins to make a full recovery.
When Martha rejects Captain Vane's romantic advances he spitefully helps Abel Becket (Loyalist and Jonathan's Uncle/Guardian) remove Jonathan from Martha's home. Abel Becket hopes that Jonathan will die under his care before he turns 21 so he will not receive his inheritance. When they learn that Jonathan is ill and expected to die. Sam realizing he can cure the illness devises a scheme with Caroline (Rebel spy and Jonathan's fiancee) to sneak into Becket's home and treat Jonathan. Scammell attacks Sam & Caroline but they manage to escape.
Captain Vane obsessed with punishing Martha for her romantic rejection decides that Scammell can help prove she is a spy. Sam realizing that Caroline is in danger risk everything to warn her.
I hope that Cornwell will continue Sam and Caroline's story in a sequel.
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I also hope he will get busy on The Starbuck Chronicles The Bloody Ground was written some time ago.