The eleventh novel in the award-winning Honor Series of historical maritime fiction.
January 1889. German and American naval forces are engaged in an escalating confrontation in Samoa in the South Pacific. Warships are at battle stations. Naval reinforcements from both nations are on the way. The press in Berlin, Hamburg, Washington, and San Francisco is calling for national honor to be defended. At any minute, open warfare may erupt. All it will take is one spark. President Grover Cleveland orders Commander Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, to clandestinely accomplish one of two things: either somehow prevent all-out war between Germany and America, or win it decisively at the outset to prevent combat from spreading worldwide. Coming up with an admittedly makeshift plan along the way, Wake enlists the help of an unlikely trio he encounters in the Pacific: a Hawaiian artillery officer, a renegade Methodist minister, and a beautiful widow. Unfortunately for Wake—and unbeknownst to him—each of them has his or her own motives for heading to Samoa. If he fails, thousands across the world will die. It is a dilemma right out of today's headlines: When do you cross the line of civilized behavior to potentially save lives? How do you live with the consequences? Amidst this dilemma, Wake decides to employ a repulsive tactic that results in horror for a member of his team, something he will regret for the rest of his life. The intrigue is as deadly as the action in this novel, which culminates in one of the most significant events in Pacific—and American—naval history.