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Publisher's Summary

John Pearce's recent promotion means that he is finally free to follow his own wishes. But the same can't be said for his trio of closest friends. While Pearce is indulging himself in London, they are shipped off to the Mediterranean. Riddled with guilt over leaving them, Pearce vows to liberate them from the brutal tyrant they are serving under.

His application to William Pitt finds him sailing off with secret dispatches for Admiral Lord Hood. But when Captain Ralph Barclay puts the lives of his crew at risk in his vain search for glory, Pearce is obliged to embark on a dangerous mission before he can free his friends.

©2006 David Donachie; (P)2007 Soundings

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 12-21-14

Engaging

This is book three in the 1790 naval series of John Pearce. In book one John Pearce and friend were illegally caught by a press gang in London at a Pub called the Pelican. So the group called themselves the Pelican from there on. The Napoleonic war has started and Britain’s navy is short of men. At the end of book two, Pearce is separated from his friends and made a Lieutenant by the King.

In this book he is hunting for his friends on the HMS Leander commanded by a flogging captain. The HMS Brilliant captained by Ralph Barclay has been send to the Mediterranean. Pearce is sent to the Mediterranean to be an 8th lieutenant on HMS Victory the flag ship of Admiral Lord Hood. The action moves to the port of Toulon, the tension between crews and Captains intensifies coming to a brilliant head when HMS Leander is detached from the fleet under orders of Captain Horatio Nelson bound for North Africa.

The book is well written and has some exciting sea battles. The author obviously knows his history and the book is well researched. The story is complex and at times filled with power plays, plots twist and suspense. My only complaint is the author leaves too many unresolved threads to carry forward to the next book.

For anyone who is enthusiastic about seafaring stories as I am will enjoy the book. Peter Wickham does a good job narrating the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Peter Wickham makes it

the performance by Peter Wickham is great.
the story is little much about the other captain
and slow to start. The main character is little to full of himself and at times just stupid.

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  • Kevin
  • CLARISSA, MN, United States
  • 12-17-13

Didn't want the book to end.

Would you listen to An Awkward Commission again? Why?

I have listened to a lot of sailing books and this series ranks right up with the Hornblower series.

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  • David
  • 05-19-10

Wonderful Series of Novels

Marvellous. Have purchased every one of Donachie's series covering the exploits of John Pearce.
One left to listen to and am dreading it as I know I be left wanting more.
Recommend these books to anyone who enjoys a good seafaring read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason
  • 12-20-14

An Incredibly catching story

Would you consider the audio edition of An Awkward Commission to be better than the print version?

Yes, The Narration is brilliant, he is very good with accents and its easy to distinguish between characters and their personalities.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ralph Barlclay, A great bad guy, with a very deep story and yet I can't help but feel for him at the same time, as he just seems to dig himself deeper and deeper into this hole.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The last scene

Any additional comments?

Very descriptive, some readers tend to find it makes the story a bit slow, I find it adds depth and gets you to really 'know' each individual character.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jocelyn Leniston
  • 09-02-16

Not enjoyable for me

Really not my sort of book. Need a synopsis of books before you buy them.