Dunne, Jan 2008, $24.95
In the early nineteenth century as England fights Napoleon, Royal Navy Captain Alan Lewrie learns that he has been sentenced to death in absentia by a Jamaican court allegedly for stealing slaves. Those who arranged the sham trial have come to England to execute him, claiming they carry out a legal sentencing that England by law must adhere to.
Meanwhile William Wilberforce and his abolitionist backers see Lewrie as an opportunity to focus on the inhumanity of slavery. They hire him a highly regarded barrister to defend him in court once his case appears on the docket. Freed because he is an aristocrat, Lewrie returns to his ship the H.M.S. Savage, blockading the seas off southwest France. Instead of sitting around, Lewrie sees a chance to cause havoc by leading a naval assault against the French coast.
The Lewrie historical naval novels (see A KING’S COMMANDER and A KING’S TRADE, etc.) are always some of the best Napoleonic War military tales around. TROUBLED WATERS is much more although the at sea battles are as great as ever. However, this time the audience also gets a chance to follow the English legal system that makes the DNA double helix look like a kindergarten puzzle. Dewey Lambkin keeps his excellent series fresh and exciting.