An 18th century seafaring adventure with a great deal of nautical detail and 'on board' brutality. On land, there's romance, intrigue and tragedy and eventually the two strands collide to form one personality. Brilliantly descriptive of the port of Harwich. An atmospheric and intriguing debut.
The boy waits, sweating.
'Fine mardle, man,' the man says finally, in a bright tone.
The boy has no idea what he means.
'Damned gangers,' says another, off in the dark, and hawks hard.
He hears the spittle land, and a lapping of water, close by his ear. Something begins to stir in the back of his mind. He struggles again to stand.
'Dinne fash, man they've snaffled you good.'
'Who?' he cries now. His legs are trembling, his heart racing. 'Who?'
'Whisht, the gangers, man!'
The hot rank breath blows close. 'You're pressed, my lad. Welcome to His Majesty's damned whoreson Navy.'