Richard Sharpe's men are in mortal danger - not from the
French, but from the bureaucrats of Whitehall. Unless reinforcements
can be brought from England, the depleted South Essex will
be disbanded, their troops scattered throughout the army.
Determined not to see his regiment die, Sharpe returns
to England and uncovers a nest of well-bred, high-ranking
traitors, any one of whom could utterly destroy his career
with a word, or a stroke of the pen. Sharpe is forced into
the most desperate gamble of his life - and not even the
influence of the Price Regent may be enough to save him.