What Reviewers and Readers Say
Publisher’s Weekly Book Life Prize Critique
This novel is a rip-roaring adventure: well plotted, well-paced, and full of action that will keep readers turning pages.
The book is well researched and boasts clear, skillfully crafted, sometimes philosophical, and thoroughly enjoyable prose. This is a historical adventure in the tradition of Patrick O’Brian that is nonetheless fresh and original. The characters are vivid, consistent, and varied. Female characters are as multi-dimensional as their male counterparts. Character interactions are authentic and interesting. A fast-paced, skillfully told, and thoughtful adventure. Fans of Patrick O’Brian will be delighted.
Vizier Hashin was bored. This time they had burned the parts of Henry’s legs that still had live skin on them − and he still couldn’t break Henry, or even get him to talk.
Dihya warned me not to meddle in this business, Henry thought, after he regained consciousness later on the cold floor of his cell. She thought I was too old to get back into the spy game. I do so hate it when my wife is right. Now she’ll come to save me − and get herself killed trying.
Then the pain surged back over him and the blackness returned,
* * * * *
At 55, Henry Doyle has it all: wealth, happiness, a strong, loving wife, a young son, and most important, his life − after a violently successful, 35-year career as a spy, soldier of fortune, and as needed, paid assassin. To the men he’s led in battle against Napoleon, he is El Habibka, the legendary Bedouin cavalry general. To the French who hate and fear him, he is more ominous: a shadow − a Sufi ghost – le wraith qui disparaît.
When Napoleon escapes captivity on Elba in 1815 to return as Emperor, Henry comes out of retirement, risking all to stop him – and fails, winding up in an Algerian torture dungeon. His half-brother Peter Kirkpatrick, a dashing American privateer captain, sails for Algiers in a daring, but utterly fool-hardy rescue attempt.
Henry’s wife Dihya, knowing nothing of Peter’s plan, determines to free her husband the only way she can think of: by becoming an odalisque in his captor’s harem. Her weapons are sex, her courage, and her razor-sharp shreu dagger.
The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age weaves together three journeys: Peter Kirkpatrick’s attempt to fight his way into Algiers to rescue Henry; Dihya’s infiltration of Hashin’s harem to accomplish the same goal; and Henry’s spiritual journey as he confronts what he fears is the loss of everything he has loved in the world.
Mia C: FIVE STARS “After reading the book I understood why it has a five star qualification. The writing style is clear and the story flows. The plot is interesting and attractive. Once I started reading I could not put the book down. I have enjoyed reading The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age and I would certainly recommend reading it to everybody. I am sure you will all enjoyed reading it as much as I did.”
Edward C. Jones: FIVE STARS “Wonderful story, great writing, highly recommended.”
Sdan12: FIVE STARS “With this book, Thomas Behr continues his saga about Henry Doyle that he began in ‘Blood Brothers.’ Henry is betrayed and ends up in an Algerian dungeon, tortured and left to die an agonizing death. This causes his half-brother, the equally dashing and brave American privateer, Peter Kirkpatrick to set out on a mission to rescue him. At the same time, Henry’s Tuareg princess wife embarks on her journey, planning to use her considerable sexual charms to infiltrate the harem of Henry’s captor, Hashin. These three separate strands join together to make an utterly compelling story. Imagine it as a film that years ago would have starred Errol Flynn and you have the feel of this excellent book.”
Pearl Angeli: FIVE STARS “[This book] was definitely one of the most interesting books I’ve read up to date. It was gripping, action-packed, and one with well-developed characters.”
James Mosley: FIVE STARS “A most enjoyable read of Napoleonic adventure, spying and intrigue.”
Edard: FIVE STARS “This book contains fascinating characters, wonderful and accurate in-depth historical settings, fast paced action and great perspective on mid-eastern religions that provide an understanding of how those parts of the world think and act. The twists and turns set in a fast moving story will prevent you from putting this book down until the early morning hours.”
Frederick Ware Huff, Author of The Liberator Bomber: FIVE STARS “Another cliff hanger as Henry Doyle returns to the fight. Plus you learn of the Barbary Wars and the interaction of cultures in the early 1800s that whets your appetite for more.”
Rebecca: FIVE STARS “Classic fiction novel that deserves a five star review.”
Kate S: FIVE STARS “Wonderful and developed plot! A well written, deeply researched historical fiction that kept my attention till the very last page.”
Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE: FIVE STARS “Strong propulsive writing, rich in color and vivid language make this a fine introduction to what appears to be a series of importance.”
Amanda Shepard: FIVE STARS “Fans of spy and adventure novels will be enthralled by Behr’s writing, and his characters just help to drive the story forward.”
Bianca: FIVE STARS “[This book] is certainly a must to pick up.. A good read and well-executed.”