This novel by one of Britain’s leading naval historians introduces Lieutenant Guy Greville, intelligence officer of Her Majesty’s corvette Dulcinea off east Africa in the final decade of the nineteenth century.
The Royal Navy is attempting to end the trade in Africans driven across the continent and shipped from the east coast up to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf for the slave markets of the Middle East. But chests of modern arms found in one intercepted dhow draw the Dulcinea into great power intrigue.
Searching for clues to the shipment, Guy Greville is led from the scented courtyards of old Zanzibar, and the enchanting young wife of an Arab slave trader, to action at sea and ashore on the plains of the interior.
The story is told with all the verve and descriptive power that has established the author’s reputation for vivid narrative. Here is Africa in the cruel days of the slave trade and the European scramble for colonies, Britain at the height of her civilising mission, the Royal Navy at the zenith of its world power and arrogance; and here are its larger than life characters engaged in the imperial game.
‘Giving rein at last to his excellent narrative gifts, Mr Padfield has his readers thoroughly involved.’