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 Peter Smalley: The Pursuit 
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Post Peter Smalley: The Pursuit
The Pursuit by Peter Smalley

This is the sixth in the Rennie/Hayter series and has an interesting premise with plenty of action on the sea that includes other ships, weather, and onboard tensions. From that standpoint, this is certainly a decent enough novel but in my opinion, not quite as good as his last.

However, I have come to dislike the character of Captain William Rennie. Both he and James Hayter have always had a prickly relationship but, in this novel, the author has taken Rennie beyond irascibility to the point of being reckless and foolish with his friend, his ship, and his men.

I wish Peter Smalley would stop by and explain why he failed to have Rennie act prudently when Rennie’s ship first meets the ship he is pursuing and when a serious storm approaches. Seems totally unlike a real RN captain. Frankly, by the time the book was over, I was hoping something serious would have happened to Rennie’s character – death would have been nice.

I have really liked this series so far. So, please, please, somebody else read this book and explain to me how I have somehow over reacted and why. Currently, I am just puzzled.

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Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Peter Smalley: The Pursuit
timoneer wrote:
Frankly, by the time the book was over, I was hoping something serious would have happened to Rennie’s character – death would have been nice.

Oo. Ouch!

I haven't had the chance to read any of the books in this series yet.

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Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:23 pm
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Post Re: Peter Smalley: The Pursuit
susan wrote:
timoneer wrote:
Frankly, by the time the book was over, I was hoping something serious would have happened to Rennie’s character – death would have been nice.

Oo. Ouch!
Susan, strangely I still like this series. I like this author. My goodness, I've read six of his books! The stories are different and interesting. Over six books, he has had time to really develop his characters. Obviously, in this novel, Smalley intended to make Rennie as reckless and foolish as he did. He went too far for me but other readers’ opinions may differ. For example, having Rennie scrambling around on his hands and knees looking for his cat while his ship is being smashed by a major storm is somewhat strange. And don’t even get me started on "beating to quarters." I’m not kidding when I ask for another viewpoint on Captain Rennie. I’m hoping I missed something important.

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Corcyraeans to the Athenians, 433 BC


Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:09 am
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Post Re: Peter Smalley: The Pursuit
....sounds intriguing, Don!

I actually have this particular book on loan from the libary now. I've only just started it, so I read on with particular interest. I had already picked up one suspicious movement - I think - before I read your post.

:wink:

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Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:15 am
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Post Re: Peter Smalley: The Pursuit
I don't think I agree with you entirely, Don, about wanting to see Rennie off. Yes, I agree about his irrascability - that it has turned to recklessness, and I believe, in this latest book, he was totally obsessed by his mission. Either that, or he's in the male menopause. ;)

I might add here that the passage where he fails to take the necessary actions in a storm reminded me of the film, M &C, where JA is so intent on catching his quarry, and, as we know, to tragic consequences.

I think Smalley writes a good yarn, but he continues to annoy with me his phrasing instead of correct sentences, and his use of "in course", "in usual", etc. I am no great reader of the classics, but I have read some Frederick Marryat, Jane Austen, and your own, JFC, and have never noticed any of them using such phrases. I will happily stand to be corrected on this.

Anyhow, I look forward to reading more Rennie and Hayter and wonder what Smalley has in store for them.

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Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:47 am
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Post Re: Peter Smalley: The Pursuit
Mil Goose wrote:
I don't think I agree with you entirely, Don, about wanting to see Rennie off. Yes, I agree about his irrascability - that it has turned to recklessness, and I believe, in this latest book, he was totally obsessed by his mission. Either that, or he's in the male menopause. ;)
I might have gone a just a little bit too far about wanting Smalley to kill off his character but I've been a bit moody myself lately. I hope I don't go "cat crazy" like Rennie. :D

Mil Goose wrote:
Anyhow, I look forward to reading more Rennie and Hayter and wonder what Smalley has in store for them.
Me too.

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Corcyraeans to the Athenians, 433 BC


Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:04 pm
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