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Publisher's Summary

Unbeknown to John Pearce, the private letter he is delivering on behalf of the prime minister carries the dismissal of the very man he is sailing to see. The need for a government majority to pursue the war with France means John Pearce must step down as Britain’s best sailor, regretfully relinquishing the position to the incompetent Admiral Hotham.

Hotham is equally less than pleased about John Pearce, as he is the one person who knows the truth about his dishonest naval career. Pearce knows Hotham will try and destroy him any way he can to keep from being exposed, so he must navigate the dangerous waters whilst trying to return to Emily Barclay, the woman he loves.

©2013 David Donachie (P)2014 Soundings

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 07-16-15

Rehashing

At the end of the last book Pearce left Emily in the Tuscan port of Leghorn and sailed on to fleet command Mediterranean headquarters to deliver a letter from the Admiralty to Admiral Hotham. Unfortunately it was a letter of promotion for the Admiral. Pearce gets tangled in a political plot that puts him and his friends in danger. Pearce fights a duel against a British Army officer which makes Emily upset.

Emily sees no future with Pearce and leaves when he is conveying letters from Horatio Nelson to the British Ambassador. Pearce set off in pursuit and takes on a superior force of Barbary Corsairs who have targeted the merchant ship Emily is on. The book provides sea battles and lots of swashbuckling action and suspense.

Donachie has spent half the book rehashing the prior installments. The series has been dragged out about as far as it can. Let’s end the series. Donachie, it is time to start a new series. Peter Wickham narrated the story.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Aimless rambling

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

What a disappointment. This series started well enough (although the main character is so self-righteous as to basically be a jerk). But the last book before "A Divided Command" was really just a "half a book" that led me to think the author was just trying to earn a paycheck.

What was most disappointing about David Donachie’s story?

Divided Command is simply a lot of aimless rambling. It's like the plot is stuck in quicksand. The author rehashes and summarizes some of the early story lines but this book just goes nowhere.

What aspect of Peter Wickham’s performance would you have changed?

Peter Wickham is outstanding. He is the one shining aspect of this book.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Divided Command?

There are more bad scenes than good scenes so it wouldn't be a useful exercise.

Any additional comments?

I have read or heard all of the Forester, Kent, O'Brian, Lambdin, the Kidd novels, several others of similar genre and now the Sharp series. These last two by Donachie have been a sad disappointment on what was a good but not great series.

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  • Paul
  • 02-10-16

excellent read

an excellent book with an equally excelleng performance by the reader. thank you im really enjoying the series

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Lance
  • Lance
  • 12-22-14

Disappointing ending

Any additional comments?

A good story but maybe too many references to previous story lines. I realise there should be some. I enjoyed listening to it but the ending was too abrupt. There could have been at least another 2 hours of story. Now I need to find the next book to find out what happened next.