1796. Lieutenant John Pearce is hiding in the smugglers' hub of Gravelines with his mysterious companion, known only to him as Oliphant, trapped in French territory with no way out. Although they find a crew willing to take them to England, they discover on the journey that Pearce's old enemies, the Tolland brothers, are still active on the route and danger may be lurking close to shore. While being on his homeland brings Pearce closer to Emily Barclay and their young son, Adam, the constant need for discretion is an additional strain on their already fragile relationship. Then, just as things may be looking up, it seems Henry Dundas has another role for him and Oliphant: a mission to north-east Spain. AUTHOR: Born in Edinburgh in 1944, David Donachie has had a variety of jobs, including selling everything from business machines to soap. He has always had an abiding interest in the naval history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The author of a number of bestselling books, he now lives in Deal, Kent with his wife, the novelist Sarah Grazebrook and their two children.