Captain in Calico

George MacDonald Fraser. Grove/Atlantic/Mysterious, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2438-8
Set in the early 18th century, this energetic tale of piracy and peril, a previously unpublished early novel by the late author of the Flashman series, opens as real-life pirate captain and outlaw John “Calico Jack” Rackham makes a midnight visit to real-life Bahamas governor Woodes Rogers. Rackham wants a King’s pardon in order to reclaim his former fiancée, Kate Sampson, who he has learned remains unmarried. The governor offers the amnesty Rackham seeks in exchange for the pirate’s gold, but moments after the pardon is granted, Rackham discovers that Kate is Rogers’s fiancée. An enraged Rackham later meets unconventional Anne Bonney, also a historical figure, who proposes that they raid one of Rogers’s treasure-filled ships. Rackham is too seduced by thoughts of revenge, riches, and Anne’s own charms to refuse. Fans expecting Flashman’s roguish wit and flamboyance will be disappointed, but the book satisfies as a suspenseful though traditional nautical thriller and a glimpse into Fraser’s development as a writer. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/13/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Compact Disc - 978-1-62231-947-3
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-00-810557-0
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8021-2552-1
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