Honour Be Damned

Tom Connery, Author Regnery Publishing $21.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-89526-252-3
Though it begins promisingly with the successful siege of Corsica's last French-held fort, this final installment in the colorful Markham of the Marines trilogy, set against the backdrop of Revolutionary France, comes up short. Outspoken Lieutenant George Markham is still battling anti-Irish, anti-Catholic prejudice: ""the look... he'd seen so often in his youth... the look that said Culchies walk and gentlemen ride; that God was a Protestant and don't you forget it, you papist bog-trotter."" But more troubling to the officer as he takes naval action against France's ships and leads a small, very motley band behind French lines on the Riviera are the various hidden agendas and betrayals of those around him. What is Monsignor Aramon's reason for a raid on a small church (""the treasure of the papal state at Avignon"")? And what is that priest's relationship to beautiful Ghislaine Moulins, ""to whom he stood as `guardian?' "" For that matter, what is Ghislaine's connection to Royalist artillery captain Comte de Puy? Also in question are the motives of the Hon. George Germain, young captain of Markham's ship, the H.M.S. Syilphide. Then there is, once again, arch-villain Citizen Commissioner Fouquert (""scum, typical of the type thrown up by the turmoil of the Revolution""), desperate to escape the Terror as it starts eating its own. The penultimate betrayal is that of Germain, who unfairly denounces Markham to the Admiralty, leaving him where he began, seriously out of favor. Most readers of this generally satisfying trilogy will probably feel the ultimate betrayal: that Markham, after all his adventures, winds up facing a dismal fate. One can only wonder what prompted such a post-modern conclusion to an otherwise resolutely historical series. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/15/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-425-19195-8
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