In the tradition of Patrick O'Brian's beloved historical military adventures comes the first in a dashing new series featuring Cornet Matthew Hervey, a young cavalry officer in Wellington's army of 1815. Bringing alive the Napoleonic era and the armies whose blood stained the soil of turbulent nations, here is the story of one man whose valor and vision bring him honor, betrayal, and a challenge beyond his imagining. For two decades, since the French Revolution, Britain and her allies have fought a seemingly endless war to loosen Bonaparte's stranglehold on Europe. And Englishmen such as Matthew Hervey, led by the "Iron Duke" of Wellington, have left the green pastures of home to follow the drum in His Majesty's cavalry. By 1814 Hervey, a twenty-three-year-old parson's son, has been on campaign with the 6th Light Dragoons for over five years--only to find his military career endangered by an impetuous act of gallantry.... With the French army at last defeated and Bonaparte exiled to Elba, Matthew's regiment is posted home. His return to Horningsham village reacquaints him with the vivacious beauty of Lady Henrietta Lindsay, his childhood sweetheart. But shortly he is called to duty in Ireland, where English landowners can be as pitiless as Bonaparte has been on the Continent, and where rebellion lurks in every hedgerow. Torn by ambition and ensnared in the intrigues of Wellington's army, Matthew struggles to shape his destiny, but his efforts are about to be cast to the winds of fate. For, back amid the pounding of hooves, the flash of gunpowder, and the clash of sabers, he will find the dramatic fulfillment of his own purpose, himself a catalyst in the battle of the century...near the small Belgian village of Waterloo. Written with stunning authenticity, and sweeping from battleground to country mansion, from French château to smoky Irish hovel, A Close Run Thing gilds history with a bold imagination in an unforgettable tale of the fortunes of war and the conflicts of the spirit.