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- By Richard Aveley
Where men labour to build the great ships, a struggle of light against darkness is played out.
It is a time of seemingly undending war, when Britain and Revolutionary France lie at death grips on land and sea. In the shipyards of England, highly-skilled men strive to build the great wooden warships that the Navy needs to resist the threat of invasion and conquest.
In one such shipyard, Anstey's, which sits on a muddy creek on the lower estuary of the Thames, Nat Woodall, shipwright, is at work; but he is there on a secret and dangerous mission. His brother died when the frigate Jocasta, a ship built at Anstey's foundered and sank, and he has come to the yard to investigate the dark mystery that lies behind his brother's death.
As he works alongside other shipwrights upon the 74-gun ship Saturn, a vast doomed hull that rises only to cast its dark shadow upon the men who work upon her, Nat finds himself in a place that is rotten with corruption, beset by intimidation, violence and death. Good men stand beside him even as evil gathers around him -- and in the midst of the darkness and terror a mysterious young girl, pale and silent as a ghost, haunts the yard and touches Nat's heart. As Nat's grief leads him to probe the mysteries that lie behind the loss of Jocasta he is drawn into an increasingly deadlier and more terrifying chain of events that lead into a deadly struggle with the dark forces that lie at the heart of the yard, until his quest ends in a conclusion that literally blazes with horror and violence.
Author: Richard Aveley
Title: The Shipwright
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