When someone mentions attacks on British shipping in home waters during the American Revolution usually one name springs to mind, John Paul Jones. I was surprised to learn therefore that there was someone possibly even more successful who I had never heard of, Luke Ryan.
Ryan was an Irish smuggler operating out of Dunkirk who became a privateer sailing with an American Letter of Marque from Benjamin Franklin and went on to command the Calonne, a 400 ton ex-French naval frigate of two decks and 36 guns with a crew of nearly 250 men of Irish, French, American and Dutch nationalities. A small band of ships sailed under his overall command.
In a new three book series Mark M. McMillin is relating a fictional story based on the exploits of this remarkable man and I have just finished the first of these Gather the Shadowmen: The Lords of the Ocean which covers the period he was smuggling through to the decision to become a privateer.
As the author explains in his historical notes at the end, Ryan's story is not well documented, so the story is mainly told through a fictionalised dialogue of the princpal historical characters.
I like books which teach me something new and I was not dissappointed by this one which I enjoyed. McMillin's dialogue was very believable and drew the various aspects of the known story together well and I now look forward to reading the rest of the series. Recommended.
Description of: Gather the Shadowmen: The Lords of the Ocean
Author: Mark M. McMillin