Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Red Runs the Helmand" - a review..

Third and final in the Morgan series of books.. kudos to Patrick Mercer for not flogging a dead horse in the same way some series do when the author causes them to go way beyond their natural lives... (no way is this book a dead horse, by the way... )

This is the third book in the series the two previous ones being
To Do and Die Dust and Steel (set in the Indian Mutiny)..

Set in the 1880s during the 2nd Afghan War, this book is set almost 30 years after the previous book, and Morgan (now a brigadier and in the twilight of his careers) has been posted to Afghanistan as part of the British force providing support to the entirely ineffective Afghan leader.

The difference with the last book is that his sons, both of whom are brats,  are both serving under him in separate regiments..

I think it fair to say that Mercer is best when he's describing battles and skirmishes - he's not so good on family relations...the depiction of Maiwand is fantastic and gives a clear and riveting description of what it must have been like to fight in a Victorian firing line, in the heat and dry of Afghanistan..

At the same time the book is set late enough that the encroachment of public opinion and the increasing role of the press is also beginning to affect military decision making..

A good end to a better than average series - I recommend all of them for a little light reading.. and I'll give this one a solid 7 out of 10...


  1. Hmmm!! They look interesting! I'll look out for these, cheers!

  2. Read this one last year. Loved it!!

  3. Loved the first two so will no doubt get this in due course. Love your book reviews by the way!