The New Dawlish Chronicles Novel – Second Chronologically in the series
Published 15th December 2022
1866: Four years since France invaded Mexico and set up a new ‘Mexican Empire’ with a puppet emperor imported from Europe, armies loyal to the republican government still resist. In a land devastated by battles, atrocities and reprisals, the tide of war is now turning in favour of the republic’s ‘Juarista’ supporters. France recognises the war is unwinnable and evacuation inevitable, but first there will be bitter rearguard actions and old scores to settle.
Britain is neutral in this conflict, but large British interests – railway and mining enterprises – are at risk as the war-front edges ever closer. Investors in London are demanding British action to protect their assets.
Lieutenant Nicholas Dawlish is serving in the gunvessel HMS Sprightly. She, and her resourceful captain, are tasked with taking ‘appropriate’ action to guarantee the safety of these interests. The situation is complex – not only Juarista, French and Imperial Mexican forces but bandit groups, a volunteer Belgian Legion and ex-Confederate mercenaries are involved. And there’s a powerful ironclad, flying Imperial Mexican colours, commanded by an Austrian aristocrat who’s desperate for glory.
Dawlish is plunged into deadly action by land and sea and, with fluency in French and Spanish, he’ll be his captain’s right-hand man in a web of political intrigue, treachery and greed in which a single mistake can end both their careers.
But for Dawlish there’s something worse, a heart-breaking encounter with a figure from his past to whom he’s linked by a solemn promise that he can’t fulfill. What follows will be torment for him . . .