Detail and event pin this story firmly to 1809 and the Peninsular war, but I felt it had something of a contemporary vibe. A cat and mouse manhunt drives the plot lending the pace of a thriller, though there are elements of humour and romance too. This novel holds its own against the best in historical fiction, including my favourite Jane Austen (Persuasion) - I eked out the last chapter simply because I did not want the book to end.
He went on. The air had a scent, a herbal sweetness, his own walking gave rise to. Heather, wild thyme, clover. But how open it was here! No hiding place for anything bigger than a lapwing. He was, he realised - had been since that moment on the ride down to the house - moving in two realities at once. In the first, everything was perfectly ordinary and just as it appeared, the island as he had come to it in the beginning. In the other, he had to resume the habits of active service, the scanning and reading of the land, the making and remaking of schemes with which to meet what could only be guessed at.