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(The first book in the Poisoned River series)
A Novella by

For Horatio Nelson, life on the West Indies station has been a disappointment.

While other men have fought the American rebels, he has been forced to cruise the Caribbean disrupting Spanish shipping, and harrying the pirates, privateers and smugglers moving contraband to the detriment of the English exchequer. Many of the smugglers hail not only from the Thirteen Colonies, but are themselves British. The work is mundane, with few opportunities for the glory he craves.

Sailing in consort with his friend Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson has had some success, but has been thwarted time after time when his targets turn out to be legitimate traders.

His prize money has been small, and Nelson knows that to succeed in his life's ambition he must be rich. To top it all, years of recurring malaria are destroying his health.

When the governor of Jamaica decides to send an expedition up the San Juan river to link the Caribbean with the Pacific Ocean, the potential prize is enormous. The Spanish Main will be split in half, and England will control the whole continent.

If he succeeds, Nelson's will be a hero.

But the river is notorious as 'a hundred miles of white man's death.' Dense jungle, fever, snakes, alligators, mosquitoes, big cats - it has them all.

And half way up the river is a fort full of Spanish soldiers.

Within weeks of landing the expedition at the river's mouth, Nelson is on a gruesome killing ground.

And it seems unlikely that he will be among the few survivors...

'Nelson: The Poisoned River' the first of a series about the life and times of Horatio Nelson, which will look at some of his lesser known exploits, as well as the ones which made him the country's most iconic hero.

Jan Needle has had more than forty books published, including the best-selling 'Death Order', 'The Devil's Luck' and 'Other People's Blood'.

Praise for Jan Needle:

'Brilliant. I found myself being drawn back into that twilight world again, despite myself. I was grossly entertained and thrilled... [Jan Needle] is a rare talent.' Jimmy Boyle

'A thundering great novel. What's really amazing is how much he seems to know about so many different things...what more could you want from a thriller? A cracking good read.' Tony Parker, New Statesman & Society

'So topical...[Needle] develops a complex, ingenious plot at breakneck speed and has a sharp underdog's eye.' John McVicar, Time Out

'Compelling, vivid, racy...describes with unnerving prescience just what is going will appeal equally to conspiracy and cock-up theorists.' Guardian

'Recalls the golden age of British investigative reporting: hard-hitting, crusading, alarming prescience.' The Times

Genre: Historical

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