The Mountain of Gold

Written by J. D. Davies
Review by Patricia O’Sullivan

Young British naval captain Matthew Quinton is on his third mission, hunting down Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean when his ship sights a crippled galleon with a Maltese galley bearing down on her. Quinton and his crew pluck the prize from the galley only to learn the captain of the galleon, Omar Ibrahim, is actually an Irishman, Brian Doyle O’Dwyer, and that it is O’Dwyer, not his cargo, that the Maltese are after.

Quinton brings O’Dwyer back to England to be tried for treason, but O’Dwyer tells the king of a mountain of gold deep inside the African coast, and Charles II, newly restored to his throne and desperate for money, decides to go after it. The king orders Quinton to escort O’Dwyer to Gambia to search for the mountain of gold. But Quinton does not believe in the mission, and he certainly does not believe O’Dwyer. In fact, when King Charles II orders Quinton’s older brother to marry a woman reputed to have killed her two previous husbands, Quinton begins to doubt his sovereign.

The Mountain of Gold is the second in Davies’s Gentleman Captain series. Readers of naval tales will definitely want to read it, but Davies is one of those writers who offers something for everyone. This story has political intrigue, family drama, and an exotic setting that presents its own challenges to Captain Quinton and his crew. But this is no light read. Davies peppers his story with a rich dose of historical backstory that is sure to satisfy readers who enjoy learning as much as they enjoy a good story.