Set just at the turn of the eighteenth century, Thomas Theodore Jessop, better known as the Commander of the Caribbean has taken it upon himself to fight evil, depravity and lawlessness around the Caribbean basin. He thinks of himself as a kind of crusader from days past who battles for God, virtue and Christianity. Jessop's comes from humble beginnings, the son of a dirt farmer from Bristol, England. He quickly transforms himself at quite a young age; he sets out on the sea to find his fame and fortune. Graduating quickly from a deck hand on a merchant ship to the captain of a slaver ship, Jessop sails to the Caribbean to sell his human cargo and sets his roots on the island of Jamaica.
Within a short time, Thomas Jessop amasses enough land on the island of Jamaica to name his large-scale landholdings as that of one Canterbury Plantations. The dowry he receives after his marriage to wife, Miriam, exponentially adds to his wealth. Thomas Jessop quickly learns that he is not one to sit idly by managing the day-to-day goings on of his plantation. Coupled with his desire is the fact that the colonial powers in Europe are too embroiled in their own conflicts about the European continent, hence, Jessop decides that he and his second-in-command, Benjamin Harrington will form up their own, what they term, as their enforcement unit. Jessop and Harrington train and drill a platoon of approximately thirty men to aid them in hunting down and returning slaves to their owners and ruthlessly crushing native insurrections.
As time passes, Thomas Jessop realizes that he can amass a much greater fortune by contracting and being put on a permanent retainer with the various Caribbean island governors to hunt down and kill the pirates who sail about the Caribbean basin creating havoc as they thieve, rape and kill the island inhabitants and interdict and rob merchant shipping. As Jessop proceeds, he happens on a plot to bring the most dreaded pirate of his day, one Blackbeard, to his early demise. Jessop is corrupted by power and riches and will take enormous risks in order to see that Blackbeard is eliminated permanently as a threat to his homeland.
A fast moving, riveting novel, Commander of the Caribbean is full of intrigue, suspense and fraught with many dangerous scenarios that confront him and his enforcement unit. Thomas Theodore Jessop fills the bill as a modern day gun-for-hire, who holds his fate in his hands and thrives on testing his own mettle of plying his brand of justice against those evil forces that abounded throughout the Caribbean basin at the turn of the eighteenth century.
- David Layman, January 2013
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