Advance Praise for How Dark the Night:
“How Dark the Night, the fifth volume in the Cutler Chronicles, was a joy to read! Strong enough to stand on its own sea legs, Hammond has written a finely crafted tale of familial and maritime adventure. Hammond's masterful scene-setting places you on the wharves, on board ships, and in family settings so vividly that you feel as if you're eavesdropping on life during the Age of Sail. Best of all, How Dark the Night is a novel whose impact subtly builds to a riveting and wrenchingly emotional climax.”—Dwight Jon Zimmerman, co-author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Lincoln's Last Days and president of the Military Writers Society of America
“High drama on the high seas combined with political intrigue, ships of two navies, pirates, and privateers draws the reader into this compelling tale, well crafted by William Hammond. The growing Cutler family’s story brings history to life even as they appear on opposite sides of an international conflict. Another well-told, fast-paced story from the pen of Mr. Hammond that is sure to further endear his readers to the well-portrayed and three-dimensional cast of characters.”—William H. White, author of the Edward Ballantyne series and the War of 1812 Trilogy
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How Dark the Night profiles the years 1805 to 1810, picking up where the fourth volume, A Call to Arms, ends. These years leading up to the War of 1812 are devastating ones for the young republic and for the Cutler family. The life-and-death struggle between the forces of Great Britain and France continue in Europe, and the United States is caught in a web of financial and political chaos as President Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison endeavor to keep the woefully unprepared United States out of the imbroglio while at the same time defending the nation’s honor. On the home front, the embargo acts initiated by the government threaten the livelihood of the Cutler family and other New England shipping families as merchant ships rot on their moorings and sailors sit on the beach, penniless. What is far worse to the Cutler family, however, is a grave illness that threatens the life of its most beloved member.
Historical figures profiled in How Dark the Night include the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte, Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith, Robert Fulton and his prototype for a submarine, Captain Stephen Decatur, Captain Salusbury Pryce Humphreys RN, and Commodore James Barron. Historical events include the decline of slavery in the West Indies, the stark political differences between the Federalists in New England and the “War Hawk” Republicans in the South and West led by Henry Clay and John Calhoun, and the abuses at sea perpetrated by the Royal Navy against American sailors. Such abominations reach a war footing after the so-called “affair” between the USS Chesapeake and HMS Leopard—as related from the British point of view through the eyes of Seth Cutler, a midshipman serving in Leopard.
William C. Hammond is a novelist, literary agent, and business consultant. A lifelong student of history and sailing enthusiast, he lives in Minneapolis, MN, and frequently sails on Lake Superior and off the coast of New England. His first novel in the Cutler chronicles, A Matter of Honor, was published in 2007, followed by For Love of Country, in 2010, The Power and the Glory in 2011, and A Call to Arms in 2012. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.