Spotlight: An Instrument of War by Martin Hicks


“An Instrument of War” by Martin Hicks 

New seafaring novel in a series of USA Civil War sagas



About the Book 

It is August 1863 and the Confederate Navy Cruiser Palmetto escapes from Charleston harbour to resume her career as a raider, hunting the shipping of the United States. The succeeding months see her range the Atlantic Ocean before facing a wild passage of Cape Horn, as her Captain Thomas Grover steers his ship for the Orient, seeking ever more victims in his mission to cripple the overseas commerce of the enemy.



About the Author 

Martin Hicks was in education as a primary school teacher in Greenock and subsequently a Primary School Headteacher in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  He opted to spend the final six years of his teaching career in Special education and did so as Deputy Head of a Special Needs School with responsibility for Primary education.

Martin started writing after leaving teaching and opted for the American Civil War setting as a result of a long-term interest in the period and he has made several visits to a range of the historical sites in the United States.

Other US Civil War novels that Martin has published include:

A Season for Killing (2007) (ISBN #978-1434349293)

A Deepening Twilight (2007) (ISBN #978-1434349293)

The Rappahannock Line (2011) (ISBN #978-1456773366)

Mirage of Victory (2012) (ISBN #978-1909039155)

The Bitterest Enemy (2013) (ISBN #978-1909878334) 

Bond of Blood (2014) (ISBN #978-1910394809)

Palmetto (2015) (ISBN #978-1785076367)



“Reload Mr Lake and have the chaser ready also.” The gunner started forward as the call came from aloft.

“On deck!” The shout came from Quincy. “They’re broachin’ their hatches!”

“Next shot into her stern Mr Lake,” Grover bellowed, “as soon as you can do it.” Lake was already at the focs’le chaser, bending over the gun, inspecting the primer as he paid out the lanyard. The thirty two pounder was hauled forward to the open port, allowing him to squint along the barrel, gesturing to his crew to adjust the aim with the tackles. At length he was satisfied and he stepped away, gripping the lanyard in his right hand. Grover waited, while the gunner alternated his gaze once more between target and sea, then he jerked the lanyard and the yellow flash came again, along with the deafening crash and the column of smoke, which whipped away as the previous one had. Grover had the glass to his eye and he peered intently towards the other ship, seeing no sign of the missile, instead catching sight of a section of the schooner’s stern shattering as the heavy bolt struck home, sending a spray of debris into the air. A further shower of wood shards saw the bolt emerge from the vessel’s further quarter and fly on to splash into the sea beyond the target. The watching audience was again impressed, as was Grover, for, at such a range, it was excellent gunnery.”


“An Instrument of War” is available from Amazon UK in paperback or e-book.

It is also available from Amazon US







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