Malta, in 1813, is ostensibly a safe harbour, yet the island is a nest of French spies, and even those in authority are not to be trusted.
As Captain Jack Aubrey cools his heels in a Maltese harbour, awaiting repairs to his ship, war rages on. Fearing that hostilities will end before he has any further opportunities for fame and fortune, Aubrey accepts several secret missions, but all is not as it seems. Will a double agent be the undoing of both Jack Aubrey and his friend, ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin?
‘This is O’Brian at his brilliant entertaining best. When he is on this form the rest of us who write of the Napoleonic conflict might as well give up and try a new career.’ Bernard Cornwell
O’Brian’s mastery of language is most wonderful of all. He manages to capture that mixture of toughness and grace which, for me at least, makes formal eighteenth-century English so attractive....Read more