It's 1798 and in London there is political turmoil.
With the reigning 'mad' King George III a figure of public ridicule, the Prince Regent 'Prinny' is living a riotous life, which touches the edges of London's underworld.
When an incriminating etched print is made and circulated in a book by the Lycanthropic Society, renowned thief-catcher Samuel Slym from Aldgate is put on the case to find those responsible and retrieve all existing prints before Prinny is subjected to public humiliation.
Meanwhile across the Channel and revered by the French military, General Napoleon Bonaparte is waiting for a chance to invade England, and his fleet is ready to strike and land.
Using the latest technology, the telegraph signal, there is a new opportunity to hatch a plan to conquer England at last and he employs sinister spies, among them the charming, but cold-blooded Sukolowsky.
Bonaparte is not the only one with an eye for conquest.
Lord Glenfeshie, survivor of the Battle of Culloden, leads the aged Highlanders and Jacobites, waiting for a chance to seize back power for the pretender, James Charles Stuart, son of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
They plot in secret, waiting to take advantage of the weak king and political instability in London under Pitt's government.
Followers of the old Highlanders will stop at nothing to reinstate a Catholic as king.
As Samuel Slym follows up his leads to track down Prinny's print he uncovers far more than he expected at the start of his commission, and his quest unwittingly leads him higher in society than he believed possible, as well as rekindling an old fiery liaison with the mysterious Lady Sarah Coignwood.
Can Slym get to the bottom of the plot to bring scandal to the Prince before it is too late?
And will Napoleon succeed in his plan to conquer the 'Rosbif Navy'?
Charging headlong from the murky backstreets of London to the country palaces of English aristocracy and finally the outposts of Kent, Drake's novel spins a gripping yarn of deception and scandal, patriotism and pride, bringing to life legendary characters of the 18th century, as well as some less well known to the annals of English history...
For those who loved Sam Slym you can catch a further glimpse of him in John Drake's bestselling Fletcher's Glorious 1st June where he begins his doomed relationship with Lady Sarah Coignwood.
Praise for John Drake's Fletcher series
"Swashbuckling adventure on the high seas doesn't get much better than this. [... ] John Drake writes beautifully, and you'll be torn between savoring the words and quickly flipping the pages. Any favorable comparison to Stevenson or Patrick O'Brian is totally justified." - Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author
John Drake trained as a biochemist to post-doctorate research level before realizing he was no good at science. His working career was in the television department of ICI until 1999 when he became a full-time writer. John's hobby is muzzle-loading shooting, and his interests are British history and British politics (as a spectator), plus newspapers, TV news, and current affairs. He is married with a son and two grandchildren.
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Used availability for John Drake's Thief Catcher
April 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition