It is January 1819, and Captain Adam Bolitho ships out from Falmouth bound for Freetown, on the old the slave coast of Africa. H.M.S. Onward carries sealed orders in the strongbox below deck. But why all the secrecy and apparent urgency? And why Onward, so soon after the Mediterranean, and that bloody action with Nautilus? On their way back into port having completed their mission, the crew of the Onward spy the debris of an allied frigate, destroyed as if taken by surprise. Bodies are strewn among the shark-infested waters and no enemy in sight. A single word frozen on the lips of the dead. Mutiny. The men begin to question who is friend and who is foe. All is not well aboard the Onward; envy and hunger for power consume some of the crew, but they must band together and risk their lives, in the name of the King.