1796: John Pearce is stuck with a difficult mission—a raw crew of Quota Men forced to enlist in the Royal Navy and four brand-new midshipmen as well as Samuel Oliphant, companion cum spy, whom he finds a constant irritant. In his favour he commands HMS Hazard, a sound and speedy warship, a pair of competent officers and, of course, his trusty old friends the Pelicans. Their primary mission is to head for the Mediterranean Fleet and warn Admiral Sir John Jervis of impending danger he will face, fighting a combined French/Spanish fleet. But there is a serious distraction: the imminent arrival of a Spanish vessel from South America carrying silver, for which the Spaniards are waiting before declaring war. Stop that and they will lack the funds to truly engage as an enemy of Britannia, but it is a distraction from his main task and specific orders. Can John Pearce resist the lure of such a valuable capture and risk his ship in a dangerous battle to gain it, or will his duty come first?
David Donachie was born in Edinburgh in 1944. He has always had an abiding interest in British naval history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the clandestine services during the Second World War. He has 51 published novels to his credit. David lives in Deal, the historic English seaport on the border of the English Channel and the North Sea.
High adventure and detection; cunningly spliced battle scenes which reek of blood and brine; excitements on terra firma to match
Outflanking and out-gunning C. S. Forester.
Pure adventure with excitement and daring all the way . . . historical fiction at its very best.
High-speed epic from an ace storyteller.
Exciting and unpredictable.