HMS Expedient and her crew have survived their most perilous commission yet: the dead have been buried and the battle scars repaired. Captain James Rennie is anxious to be active again after a year on the beach. And this time he longs for regular service with the Fleet as opposed to the extraordinarily dangerous detached missions he has been assigned by Britain's shadowy spy masters in the last few years. His friend, Lieutenant James Hayter, is haunted by his past and he too longs for the sea .
Both will find their escape, but not in the circumstances they would have wished. Once more the summons comes for a secret voyage, in pursuit of a heavily armed neutral vessel. Aboard the ship lies a secret that could change the course of the coming war for Britain, and the loss of which could tip the balance irrevocably in favour of Revolutionary France.
From a fog-bound Thames Estuary to the limpid waters of the Norwegian fjords, through the storm-mad Atlantic and finally to Boston, Rennie and Hayter must play a deadly game involving sea battles, mutiny and breathtaking deception. And, of course, the only stakes in the game are victory or death.