The action starts with Ramage and crew coming across a ship whose crew and passengers have been murdered. Naturally, Ramage and the boys must find the culprits. Well, nothing happens with respect to this plot for a LONG time--it's almost forgotten. As a matter of fact, nothing really happens and the book drags for a while. At the end, the action and suspense pick up again, making this a fun book to read. But to get to the good stuff, the reader's got to pay his dues.