The third book to feature Captain Charles Hayden, blessed/cursed with Anglo/French heritage so treated with suspicion by one side and considered a traitor by the other. Here Hayden is tasked with obtaining critical information from a spy and then having to avoid French ships before being captured, shipwrecked and then joining a fleet for a sea battle with the French. The author knows his stuff and it feels very authentic, if at times there is a little too much detail on the complexities of sails and rigging. The language, and sometimes the writing style, is not `modern' and takes some getting used to before you are swept into the story.
While we involve ourselves with Hayden's story, we also see estranged lady-friend Henrietta with her family and coping with an apparent betrayal by Hayden looks elsewhere for romance. I presume this element of the story was put there to give a more rounded view of the characters and what drives them, but the politics and intricacies of relationships and romance seemed at odds with what is basically a novel of high sea adventure.
It is probably the Henrietta storyline that, for me, pulls this back to three stars from four. But it is otherwise a well written and well researched novel.