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Napoleon's Spy

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781409197911

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 4th January 2024

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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1812. On the eve of the invasion of Russia, half-French, half-English Matthieu Carrey finds himself in the ranks of Napoleon’s five hundred thousand strong army. With Tsar Alexander seemingly ill-prepared, a French victory seems certain. The Grande Armée will obliterate everything in its path.

Carrey’s purpose is less clear. Blackmailed into becoming a spy in the emperor’s army, he hopes to follow his lover, a French actress who has gone to work in the Moscow theatre.

As supplies grow scarce and temperatures plummet, the Grande Armée begins to crumble. Caught up in the maelstrom of war, Carrey embarks on an epic journey, while the Russians circle him like hungry wolves.

Hundreds of miles lie between Carrey and safety.

To reach it seems utterly impossible.

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Brilliantly entertaining. In Matthew Carrey, Ben Kane has created a wonderfully flawed but human hero, a man who, often unwittingly and many times entirely through his own errors of judgement, finds himself caught up in one desperate escapade after another, and which, like the very best historical adventures, see him cross seas and travel continents and, along the way, meet an array of acutely observed characters from villains to femme fatales and to Napoleon himself. Ben Kane's attention to historical detail is also second-to-none - in 1812 he had brought Napoleon's calamitous Russian campaign vividly and compelling to life in one of the most enjoyable and compelling historical romps I've read in a very long time
James Holland, historian, writer, and broadcaster
The first half of Napoleon's Spy is fun - a picturesque tale of duels, love affairs and gambling dens. The second is a searing, vivid account of Napoleon's terrible retreat from Moscow
Antonia Senior, The Times
Napoleon's Spy is a tour de force on an epic scale that immerses the reader in the scent of cannon smoke and the whistle of grape shot. You can almost taste the fear. The 1812 campaign is a story of immense sacrifice, enormous courage and a man who never knew when to take a step back until it was too late for those who revered him. Ben Kane is one of our finest historical novelists and his passion for his subject shines through on every page
Douglas Jackson
'The historians' author', no less!
Dr Zack White
As soon as I read the first few pages of a Ben Kane novel, I'm all in. It was no different with Napoleon's Spy. Kane's historical detail is as intriguing and fascinating as his characters are compelling. His prose is lively, economical and intimate, so that this story reads like a first hand account, but with the Kane master storyteller treatment. In fact, Napoleon's Spy is an exemplar of a Ben Kane novel; exciting, immersive, well researched and great fun. The author's very name has long been a seal of quality, and here he is at the top of his (or anybody's) game. What I love about this book, and his others too, is that it feels nostalgic. It reminds me of those classic, epic Hollywood movies of the 1950s and 1960s, which fired my imagination as a child and, in many ways, shaped me. We have a flawed hero on a mission, thwarted by colourful villains and beset by every danger, all set against an epic backdrop of nation-defining war. What's not to love? Bravo, Ben Kane, you've done it again
Giles Kristian
Ben Kane pivots from ancient Rome and medieval England to the Napoleonic Wars, and delivers up a rip-roaring tale full of both swashbuckling and pathos. Half-English, half-French Matthieu Carrey battles a weakness for cards and wine which frequently lands him in hot water, finding himself strong-armed into the reluctant position of Imperial messenger for Napoleon and clandestine spy for the English. Matthieu makes an appealingly flawed hero, fighting not only illicit duels and Cossack lances on the Grand Armee's campaign through Russia, but his own worst impulses. It looks like the adventures of NAPOLEON'S SPY may continue for future books--I for one will be first in line!
Kate Quinn
Harrowing and totally gripping. A masterclass in writing fiction about real historical events
Leonora Nattrass, author of Black Drop
An epic tale that never loses sight of the raw experience of the hero. I loved Napoleon's Spy
Simon Scarrow
With intrigue, espionage and duels, this is a great adventure story set against the epic background of Napoleon's doomed invasion of Russia
Adrian Goldsworthy, bestselling historian