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The following Richard and Adam Bolitho novels by Alexander Kent are listed in historical chronological order. Cover images and descriptions are from the dustwrappers of British hardcover first editions.

SECOND TO NONE
William Heinemann, 1999


‘Peace or war, the requirements for this squadron remained unchanged. To protect, to show the flag, and to fight if necessary, to maintain that mastery of the sea which had been won with so much blood.'
    On the eve of Waterloo, a sense of finality and cautious hope pervade a nation wearied by decades of war. But peace will present its own challenges to Adam Bolitho, captain of His Majesty’s Ship Unrivalled, as many of his contemporaries face the prospect of discharge.
    The life of a frigate captain is always lonely, but for Adam, mourning the death of his uncle Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho, that solitude acquires a deeper poignancy. He is, more than ever, alone, at the dawning of a new age for the Royal Navy, where the only constants are the sea and those enemies, often masked in the guise of friendship, who conspire to destroy him.

RELENTLESS PURSUIT
William Heinemann, 2001


It is December 1815 and Adam Bolitho’s orders are unequivocal. As captain of His Majesty’s frigate Unrivalled of forty-six guns, he is required to ‘repair in the first instance to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and reasonably assist the senior officer of the patrolling squadron’. But all efforts of the British anti-slavery patrols to curb a flourishing trade in human life are hampered by unsuitable ships, by the indifference of a government more concerned with old enemies made distrustful allies, and by the continuing belligerence of the Dey of Algiers, which threatens to ignite a full-scale war.
    For Adam, also, there is no peace. Lost in grief and loneliness, his uncle’s death still unavenged, he is uncertain of all but his identity as a man of war. The sea is his element, the ship his only home, and a reckless, perhaps doomed attack on an impregnable stronghold his only hope of settling the bitterest of debts.

MAN OF WAR
William Heinemann, 2003


Antigua, 1817 and every harbour and estuary is filled with ghostly ships, the famous and the legendary now redundant in the aftermath of war. In this uneasy peace, Adam Bolitho is fortunate to be offered the seventy-four gun Athena, and as flag captain to Vice-Admiral Sir Graham Bethune once more follows his destiny to the Caribbean.
    But in these haunted waters where Richard Bolitho and his ‘band of brothers’ once fought a familiar enemy, the quarry is now a renegade foe who flies no colours and offers no quarter, and whose traffic in human life is sanctioned by flawed treaties and men of influence. And here, when Athena's guns speak, a day of terrible retribution will dawn for the innocent and the damned.

HEART OF OAK
William Heinemann, 2007


It is February 1818, and Adam Bolitho longs for marriage and a safe personal harbour. But with so much of Britain’s fleet redundant, he knows he is fortunate to be offered HMS Onward, a new 38-gun frigate whose first mission is not war but diplomacy, as consort to the French frigate Nautilus.
Under the burning sun of North Africa, Bolitho is keenly aware of the envy and ambition among his officers, the troubled, restless spirits of his midshipmen, and the old enemy’s proximity. It is only when Nautilus becomes a sacrificial offering on the altar of empire that every man discovers the brotherhood of the sea is more powerful than the bitter memories of an ocean of blood and decades of war.

IN THE KING’S NAME
William Heinemann, 2011


It is 1819, and Captain Adam Bolitho is ordered once again to Freetown in West Africa with secret orders for the senior officer there. The slave trade has been outlawed by many nations, but a hundred thousand slaves are still shipped out annually, the profit for slavers considered worth the risk of interception by the Royal Navy.
    
For Adam, newly married and as fiery as ever, Africa will bring reunions and unexpected allies, and a treachery that wears the mask of friendship, and threatens the very heart of all he loves.



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Alexander Kent First Editions