Meet James Keane of the 27th Foot: an ill-disciplined card sharp and ladies’ man – and one of the finest soldiers of Wellington’s army. Keane’s task, assigned directly by Wellington, is the creation of an intelligence unit operating behind the French lines. He and his company are trusted with the secrets of the generals – and viewed with hostile suspicion by regular troops.
In a bid to recruit men with uncommon skills, Keane springs soldiers from military jails and liberates them from their regiments. It’s up to him to form this band of blackguards into an elite unit. Deep in enemy territory, they must negotiate with dangerous guerilla groups and forge new routes for their army if they are to succeed – and survive. Based on the true activities of the first British military intelligence unit, Keane's Company presents an unusual and fascinating picture of the Peninsular War: a nineteenth-century Dirty Dozen and a worthy companion to Sharpe.