In the third adventure featuring the James Bond of the Regency Era, Matthew Hawkwood goes undercover to hunt down smugglers and traitors at the height of the Napoleonic Wars For a French prisoner of war, there is only one fate worse than the gallows: the hulks. Former man-o-wars, now converted to prison ships, their fearsome reputation guarantees a sentence served in dreadful conditions. Few survive. Escape, it’s said, is impossible. Yet reports persist of a sinister smuggling operation within this brutal world, and the Royal Navy is worried enough to send two of its officers to investigate.
When they disappear without a trace, the Navy turns in desperation to Bow Street for help. It’s time to send in a man as dangerous as the prey. It’s time to send in Hawkwood.