This spanking sea saga packs in familiar names of maritime heroes, and stretches a crowded historical fiction canvas across the framework of a murder which takes place early in the book. Nick Caryl Young left his Virginia plantation to seek his future on the sea and visit his elder brother Sandy in London. With Pambo, his Negro servant, and as a fellow voyager, John Paul Jones. In London Nick finds his brother and meets a distant relative, Gilbert, who is identical to Sandy. Gilbert murders Sandy, then goes to Virginia to trade on Sandy's inheritance. Nick sails with Captain James Cook, then at the outbreak of the Revolution signs on the Ranger under John Paul Jones, partaking in the battles off the English coast and in the Bonhomme Richard-Serapis conflict. The story is long -- tenuously balanced on the mischance of identical appearances. It seems going the long way around to sugarcoat historical action.