Number 10 in this series and as it progresses it is much more enjoyable than Weber's Honor Harrington series where Dame Honor never makes mistakes, never is in danger, and never does not advance higher.
Drake served and so he has an appreciation for how things might actually be. Here we are between wars, in the Peace of Amiens (for as Weber, though to a much lesser extent, we have a universe that parallels our history of the Napoleonic wars)
And as such we see that a warrior such as Leary is not employed at all instances to fight for his country but in Peace, the Navy is reduced and he is on the beach. So Drake comes up with a plausible reason for his hero and friends to go back into danger. A plot that is nuanced and deep with layers and intrigue for all.
Where Drake fails us a little is that we know these characters. We have seen their demons and here we are presented repetitively with the demons of Adele Mundy, the 2nd protagonist several times, from the exact same view, rather
than breaking through to a new realization and the next level of being a human. So she becomes a cliche throughout the story and needs to put aside or deal with her past so we don't relive her angst more than once a story. In fact, as Leary has advanced in career and realized that he has put aside his salad days, even though he is youthful, his responsibilities are that of a man of more sober years and he has glimpses of how he should act, and then does so, but we never seem to tie up those loose ends and have him really take the next step of being an adult.
Those qualms, put to bed and allow our heroes to advance from the circular shackles they are in would do great service to the series. Otherwise this is an excellent adventure and read.