“You could get addicted to this series. Easily.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Fast-moving at sea, nicely lewd ashore, a hugely likeable hero, a huge cast of sharply drawn supporting characters; there’s nothing missing. Wonderful stuff.”
The NYT Book Review of Lewrie #5, The Gun Ketch:
Up to now, Alan Lewrie, the hero of Dewey Lambdin's sea going series, has been a figure whose libido governs his behavior. So what is he doing at the beginning of THE GUN KETCH ? Getting married, that's what. Can so notorious a young rakehell find happiness with just one woman?
The period is the late 1780's, and Lieutenant Lewrie has taken command of H.M.S. Alacrity, a ketch assigned to the Bahamas squadron. His major job will be to hunt down pirates. So off to the Bahamas he sails, his new wife on board.
Mr. Lambdin follows the Horatio Hornblower tradition of C. S. Forester. There is detailed knowledge of the British Navy, the age of sail, warfare at sea and even the customs of the gentry. Of course the dialogue abounds in naval talk: "Take a second reef in the gaff courses, now we've unbalanced her by taking in the flying jib. Trim her until you're satisfied. Hank on a storm trys'l and bare the tack corner for a balance on her head. Able seamen only out on the sprit tonight, mind."
And while Lewrie is not so complicated a figure as Horn blower, he is an agreeable young man, highly competent, brave and imaginative. There are sections where the author is laying the foundation for a Lewrie legend. It may be that the action in "The Gun Ketch" is predictable. But it is also lively and amusing.