With a worn out ship in desperate need of a refit Banks and his crew expect some leave. Instead they find themselves en route to St Helena with a cargo of gold and the New Governor, his wife and staff as passengers. The voyage does not go well when they encounter a powerful French Squadron which leaves Banks with some difficult choices to make.
Unfortunately the Governor is killed in the ensuing action and Banks has to deal with an enraged and politically influential widow. When he arrives on the island the French are still in the offing, a threat which he must deal with before the arrival of a rich East India convoy.
The book gives a good insight into life on the remote outpost of St Helena and is was refreshing to see it feature in a book which is not about Bonaparte's later exile there. As usual with Bond the work follows the daily lives of not just the officers but also the crew which this time includes a murderous seaman.
A good mix of naval action at sea and political intrigue on land woven into a well written and hard to put down plot. Highly recommended.
Description of: The Torrid Zone
Author: Alaric Bond