Spring, 1648. When Thomas Hill, a bookseller living in rural Hampshire, publishes a political pamphlet, he has no idea of the trouble that will follow. He is quickly arrested, forced on a boat to Barbados and condemned to life as a slave. In England war has erupted again, with London under threat of attack. When news of the king’s execution reaches the island, political stability is threatened and a fleet commanded by Sir George Ayscue arrives to take control of the island for Cromwell. When a coded message from Ayscue to a sympathiser on the island is intercepted, Thomas is asked to decipher it. A disastrous battle seems inevitable. But nothing turns out as planned.