I read this book about 12-Jan-2015. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1946. This note was last modified Thursday, 29-Jan-2015 20:51:55 PST.
This is book 9 of the "Hornblower" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Knight of the Bath!
And sent to recover mutineers and the ship they took, from the harbor of Le Havre. He has insisted on authority to negotiate with them, which was rather reluctantly granted—but this almost certainly means that if he fails, he has no possible way to dodge the blame.
Hornblower himself despises the slavery of the press gang, and doesn't much approve of capital punishment either. And here he is risking his life to get the mutineers, who will be either hanged or flogged to death. He clearly sees the need to prevent mutiny to keep the Navy strong, and to keep Bonaparte at bay.
He manages a beautiful trick to cut off the mutineer's friendship with the French. He disguises his ship as theirs, and then goes in and cuts out a prize from the harbor.