Returning to England after the dramatic capture of Martinique, Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho attains an all too brief respite from war and politics. But the shadow of a new conflict already darkens the horizon. The old enemy, France, forges an uneasy alliance with America - threatening the safety of British trade routes. Although ordered immediately to the Indian Ocean, Bolitho's thoughts are of his own - and the Navy's - past. Both Nelson and Collingwood died in their country's service. For the Navy's newest Admiral, is there life beyond the sea itself?