Set in the early 19th century, when Britain was fighting hard to rule the waves: a wonderfully entertaining, swashbuckling adventure series, and a dashing hero, for whom life – and love – does not always turn out the way he intends it to. January 1806: Martin Jerrold comes to Dover in order to restore the reputation he ruined at Trafalgar, in which trapped below deck for the duration of the battle, he finally emerged – in deepest disgrace, but alive. Before he has been in Dover a day, however, he finds himself standing over a corpse at the foot of the cliffs. This might not matter, except that the body is too far from the cliffs to have fallen accidentally or even suicidal, and Jerrold is suspected of murder. His captain seems to despise him; and the magistrate, Sir Lawrence Cunningham, wants to hang him, but no one can be found to identify the body, let alone press charges. When word reaches Jerrold’s long suffering uncle at the Admiralty, the choice is stark: he must either clear his name or be cut off without a guinea.
Somewhere in Dover’s twisted streets, someone knows something, but can Jerrold find them? Nothing is as it seems, especially in Dover where smuggling is a way of life, everyone has well stocked wine cellars, and the local banker has a lucrative connection with the French. And all the time, Jerrold is under suspicion, finding sympathy only from the unlikely direction of Sir Lawrence’s wife Anne, and in the rather less respectable arms of Isobel, the girl who seems – without any great effort on Jerrold’s part – to be becoming his mistress. Distrusted by his superiors, set upon by curiously well informed smugglers, attacked by the French at sea, Jerrold has two weeks to save his skin – or perish in the attempt.
Life in coastal cities isn't easy for naval officers who are supposed to be hunting for smugglers, when it appears that the entire population is involved in the trade.
Poor Martin Jerrold is banished to Dover as a punishment for his ignominious part in missing the battle of Trafalgar, even though he was actually there.
Upon arrival in Dover, Jerrold lurches from disaster to disaster as he is accused of murder due to circumstantial evidence and has to try to clear his name.
This was an enjoyable read which was very well narrated.