“Rapscallion” by James McGee / Tuesday, May 28, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Rapscallion by James McGee

It’s the early 1800s and espionage is alive and well in jolly old England.

“Rapscallion” by James McGee is the third adventure for Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood and in this installment, without giving too much away, he is to go undercover as a prisoner of war to discover how prisoners are escaping from a floating penitentiary. Posing as an American mercenary fighting for the French, Hawkwood soon learns his assignment is a fate worse than death as he finds himself on a former man-o-war converted into a prison ship. Set first in the hull of the nasty ship where prisoners seem to make their own laws and later in the English backcountry where order and laws do not seem to matter, Hawkwood tries to get to the bottom of a human smuggling operation while continuing the ruse and his life.

I love the dark English portrayal of the Napoleonic time period.  The novel reads true.  I don’t know that I’ve personally ever read anything quite like it, though the war profiteering scheme does ring familiar in our own time.  As Rhett Butler observed, there is more money to be made in the fall of a civilization than in the building of it.

This is definitely a page-turner, especially as we reach the climax; my only problem was I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. If you’re in the mood for a dark historical, this is definitely one to get. It will make you thankful for the simple things, such as a shower or bath.

– Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker and founder of Killer Nashville. Stafford’s latest projects are the documentary “One of the Miracles” and the music CD “XO”.

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Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!