Cornelius Noon - Chief Turret Captain USN
Think of Cornelius Noon as Hornblower or Jack Aubrey for the age of steam and steel. With his master gunner's eye Noon could drop a bird on the wing or punch a five-inch shell through a distant window. This stirring novel charts his course from the Kentucky hills, where he learned to shoot, to his berth in the United States Navy where his singular talent won him swift promotion. When, in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the navy to take over a key Mexican port only Noon's deadly marksmanship made it possible. But Noon, always a loner, had his own ideas about what his country should be doing. His educated eye was just as penetrating when came to sizing up the women who were intrigued by his take-it-or-leave it charm: Mrs Smiley the brash bordello keeper and Leonora the cool diplomatic wife who seduced him.