It is 1797 and Thomas Kydd is now master's mate on Achilles, a 64-gun ship-of-the-line, on his way back from the Caribbean. After a dangerous rescue mission to Venice Kydd sails for England, but his joy at returning home after many years' absence is soon forgotten when he finds himself at the centre of one of the most extraordinary events in English history - the Mutiny at the Nore.
Ten thousand men, one thousand guns and scores of ships hold the country to ransom: the government is near collapse; the economy on the brink of ruin.
And Kydd is faced with a terrible choice. Abandon his friends and shipmates? Or join the rebellion and put his career - and even his life - on the line?