1663, the Mediterranean Sea. On his third mission for king and country, Captain Matthew Quinton captures a corsair pirate from under the nose of a furious Maltese Knight – the sinister Montnoir. But the crew’s delight soon palls when the ‘pirate’ is unmasked as O’Dwyer, a renegade Irish adventurer with a fabulous yarn about a vast gold mine in the west African desert. Back at home, bad turns to worse when an avaricious King Charles II charges the young captain with accompanying O’Dwyer to Africa to locate the ‘mountain of gold’. With little hope of success, and forced to turn his back on a perilous family crisis, Quinton sails for the Gambia. From the start his mission is dogged by misfortunate, murder and sabotage…then he discovers that Montnoir is on the same trail. As he struggles against the wily Maltese Knight in hellish conditions, plagued by fever, wild animals and a hostile local chief, Quinton begins to understand that more than their own lives are at stake.