Lisa Chaplin

The Tide Watchers

William Morrow 2015

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Historical FictionNew Books Network June 14, 2015 C. P. Lesley

From World War I, we jump back more than a hundred years and across an ocean. Napoleon, still First Consul, has convinced the surrounding...

From World War I, we jump back more than a hundred years and across an ocean. Napoleon, still First Consul, has convinced the surrounding nations to accept a series of treaties that he violates as it suits him. Great Britain, weary of war, clings to the Treaty of Amiens, determined to play the ostrich even as evidence mounts that Napoleon is massing an invasion fleet on the northern coast of France. What are the alternatives? In 1802, the Battle of Trafalgar has not yet happened. Half the renowned British fleet is in mothballs, the other half dispersed to distant lands. And no one knows (or wants to know) where Bonaparte will strike next: Egypt, the Caribbean, the Channel Islands, Cornwall. Any target is as plausible as any other, or so the Parliament and the lords of Whitehall insist.

Amid the confusion, a small group of British spies, the King’s Men, works to gain what intelligence it can on Bonaparte’s movements. Talk of assassination plots mingle with rumors of troop deployments and underwater boats capable of launching carcasses (bombs) and torpedoes to destroy the Royal Navy before its officers know what has happened to them. And smack in the middle of the plot is Elizabeth Sunderland, daughter of a King’s Man, who realizes too late the wolf hidden behind the charming face that wooed her away from her family. Lisbeth wants her son, her estranged husband wants revenge, the King’s Men want information, and the American inventor Robert Fulton wants only to be left in peace to pursue his research into submarines. In The Tide Watchers (William Morrow, 2015), Lisa Chaplin masterfully weaves these warring desires into a fast-paced story that will keep you riveted in your seat as the pages turn.