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A King's Cutter by Richard Woodman

Book cover for A King's Cutter
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In 1792, Nathaniel Drinkwater returns to the Royal Navy with an appointment to the twelve-gun cutter KESTREL, commanded by the inscrutable Madoc Griffiths. Beneath the gathering shadow of the French Revolution, he undertakes dangerous secret operations off the coast of France, including the rescue of emigres and the landing of agents. As Europe plunges deeper into war, KESTREL participates in the struggle for the Channel, and Drinkwater encounters the devious and sinister Edouard Santhonax, who is attracting a great deal of interest from the British government. Drinkwater eventually uncovers a network of intrigue that paralyzes the Royal Navy with mutiny, leading to a bloody confrontation at Camperdown, where Drinkwater and Santhonax come face to face.

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