Nathaniel Drinkwater is promoted lieutenant of the brig Hellebore, and routine convoy escort duties end abruptly when Admiral Nelson, pursuing the French fleet to Egypt, sends Hellebore to the Red Sea with an urgent warning to the British squadron there. However, Nelson’s apprehensions over French ambitions in the East are more than justified. Edouard Santhonax, Drinkwater’s old enemy, is already preparing for a French descent on India.
The hunt for this elusive Frenchman and his frigate combine with British naval operations on the flank of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. The attack on Kosseir spells near-fatal danger for the hero, and Drinkwater is left for dead, with victory over Santhonax a distant hope.