Raised to the rank of captain for gallantry under fire, Edgemont proved his mettle in the bruising British victory over the Spanish fleet at the Battle of St. Vincent. Now married and in command of the twenty-eight-gun frigate Louisa, the young captain sails toward a day of destiny - for himself and for England. The year is 1798. The war between England and revolutionary France has reached a bloody stalemate, with England in the ascendancy at sea and France unchallenged on the Continent, thanks in large part to an unorthodox twenty-eight-year-old general named Napoleon Bonaparte. But the French, secretly amassing a powerful fleet, mean to break the impasse.
When rumours of the French preparations leak, the Admiralty dispatches a squadron of seven ships-among them the Louisa - under the command of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson to investigate. Blindsided by a storm of ferocious intensity, the ships scatter across the seas. After the storm subsides, the damaged frigates limp back to the rendezvous point. But there is no sign of Nelson's flagship, Vanguard, nor of two other ships of the line. Edgemont fears that the pugnacious rear-admiral has pressed on with the mission. Putting his career on the line by disobeying direct orders, Edgemont sets out in pursuit of Nelson and the French fleet on a treacherous voyage along the Tuscan coast. As tensions among the crew threaten to explode into open insubordination or worse, Edgemont makes an unexpected discovery in Naples that may seriously compromise his mission.
When the missing French fleet turns up off the shores of Egypt, conveying an army tens of thousands strong, Edgemont is suddenly thrown into a crisis of conscience. As circumstances grow dire and require heroic action, the fate of the crucial battle effectively lies in Edgemont's hands - as does the course of history.
Author: Jay Worrall
Title: Any Approaching Enemy
Series: Charles Edgemont
First Published by: Random House
Date: April 2006