Its appearance now as a sumptuously illustrated and moderately priced publication is an indication that pirate history sells – and so it should. It is, however, a difficult story to tell. Kelleher approaches it thematically. Perhaps a chronological narrative would have made it easier to follow. And the evidence, some of it drawn from officialdom covering its tracks, some from legal examinations and depositions that cannot be corroborated, is tantalising but often incomplete, sometimes contradictory. Kelleher is forced to speculate much of the time.