1796. The long-awaited return of the Bucephalas to the safety of the Cinque Ports is interrupted by a disastrous engagement in the Channel. The looming shape of a merchantman becalmed in fog presents an almost irresistible allure. But for Harry Ludlow and his battle-weary crew, the pursuit of one last easy prize leads to a desperate fight. Yet, it is events closer to home that present the greater danger. As the Bucephalas seeks refuge in the Solent, the red flags fluttering from the topmasts signal that His Majesty's Navy has reached a state of full mutiny.