Helena, an upmarket cruise ship sets sail for the Med. It is already in the Solent before the owners realise there are several members of a far right group aboard, and they might be aiming to hijack the ship, but they are sure that there can be no weapons aboard. They discuss matters with MI5, and one of their operatives agrees to board the ship in Spain, to monitor the situation.
John McBride is aboard, encouraged by his agent to act as art tutor. When the Captain learns that McBride used to be in the SAS, he thinks he might be useful if things get out of hand.
But it is not just a hijack that takes place, but also a rebellion by the passengers loathe to have their holiday ruined. A hurricane, rare, but not unknown in the Mediterranean engulfs the ship, which is holed by a collision with a container washed off a watching container ship. When the Captain thinks life couldn’t get worse on this, his last voyage before retirement, it does. With the last hijacker roaming the ship in disguise, will he kill the captain?