Send Me Back Safely Again

Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 9th August 2012

‘The French hang and shoot those who oppose them. Our patriots hang those who do not. Bandits rob and kill whoever they please, and there is no one to stop them. Armies are everywhere, stealing and burning. And now you British are back after running away in the winter…’

Spain in 1809 is a treacherous battleground, whether you’re on the side of the French, the Spanish – or in the increasingly shadowy territory inbetween. The commanders on both sides will pay any price to learn of the enemy’s numbers, dispositions and plans – and Lieutenant Hanley and Ensign Williams of the 1065th Foot are about to discover just how high that price can be.

After their ship is blown back to Lisbon by a storm after the retreat to Corunna, the two stragglers and their comrades are no longer in the front line – but find themselves employed in the murkier and even more deadly world of spies and intelligence-gathering. Hanley, carrying vital messages behind the French lines to contacts whom he cannot trust, is surprised to find how readily he enjoys this high-stakes game of character; while Williams discovers that protecting the beautiful and enigmatic ‘Heroine of Saragossa’ is every bit as dangerous as facing a French cavalry charge.

As Sir Arthur Wellesley and his Spanish allies advance on Madrid and the opposing armies mass for a crucial confrontation, victory will depend as much on knowledge as muskets and cannon – and Hanley and Williams realize that they cannot afford to fail.