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The Black Ship

By Alan Scholefield

A British ship bound for Australia’s penal colony is wrecked off the Slave Coast of West Africa.

On board is Dominic, bastard son of the Earl of Stonor. He’s been sentenced at Winchester Assizes to seven years for the theft of a ring. But he has been framed – to cheat him of a promised inheritance.

After the shipwreck Dom makes landfall with other survivors including Jaye, daughter of a couple seeking a new life on the other side of the world. The locals are nervous of white people – and the prospect of being taken, like so many others, by slavers.

Inevitably for young Dom and Jaye, thrown together by a fateful storm, romance is in the air. Jaye is touched by Dom’s plight and together they plan to go back to England to seek justice – and perhaps more.

This, however, is when their troubles really begin. Their efforts to find a seaport from which they might be able to return only makes a penal colony look like a soft option.

Always on the horizon looms a black ship, the Claymore. A slave ship. Instead they are hunted mercilessly. They find themselves prisoners of a madman who likes to call himself The Emperor.

In Alan Scholefield’s The Black Ship there seems no escape from the Dark Continent or the heart of darkness. A thrilling adventure takes place on the high seas, in the jungle, the seedy naval towns of England and a once glorious country estate. If the slave traders don’t get you, then the pressgangs and cutpurses might. Or just jealous family members…

Alan Scholefield was born in 1931 in Cape Town, South Africa. After leaving university he became a journalist but left his homeland to escape the apartheid regime. Most famous for his Macrae and Silver series, Scholefield has also written other novels, including Venom, which was made into a film in 1981.

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