Cornwell's (Sharpe's Siege, Sharpe's Regiment) solid characters, historical accuracy, and rich detailing bring the Revolutionary War into clear focus in this entertaining look at the divided loyalties of Philadelphia under British Occupation. The Redcoat is Sam Gilpin, a country boy who reluctantly left England to protect his weaker twin, brother Nate, who swallowed the ancient lies of a recruiting sergeant and took the King's shilling. Their enlistments have brought them to the thick of bloody guerrilla warfare in the American colonies. Nate almost immediately wants out, but Sam, who finds he loves the excitement, insists on staying. Sam's skill with horses leads him to service under the fast-rising Captain Christopher Vane, aide to General Sir William Howe. And their position at Howe's PhiladelPhia headquarters brings them into contact with the household of Martha Crowl, a rich rebel sympathizer, her brother Jonathon, and Jonathon's feisty fiancee Caroline. Vane is smitten with but rejected by the beautiful Mrs. Crowl; Sam would have Caroline but for Jonathon. Parties, passions, and politics swirl through a city held by the British but surrounded by rebel forces and sympathizers. Finally, Vane's spurned love--as well as his itch to stir the amiable General Howe to action--brings things to a crisis. A solid sense of real-life revolutionary Philadelphia, terrifying battle scenes, and the tragic rise and fall of Captain Vane highlight this most satisfying historical piece.