When the Asia, a two-masted schooner, sinks in a storm along the harsh winter shores of Cape Cod in 1882, the crew, the captain, and the captain’s young daughter are cast into the midnight sea. Swept ashore, the Asia’s captain survives—only to meet a mysterious end before he can be rescued. Meanwhile, his child makes landfall and dies not far away. With dawn’s arrival, all that remains are the jagged hulk of the Asia and the whispers of a secret.
So begins a race to find a history-altering treasure—a contest that pits Daniel Cole, keeper of the lifesaving station, and his fellow Peaked Hill Bars lifesavers against a philosophical killer. This mooncusser, an author of shipwrecks, walks a stoic horse along the ridgeline of the Cape’s towering beach cliffs, bending fate to his aims.
Hope and despair, love and loss, sacrifice and sin, riddle and answer all blur and intertwine in a tale that calls into question the validity of humanity’s moral compass and the very nature of progress and civilization.
Ken McAlpine has published his writing in national magazines and newspapers, earning several awards. He is the author of Islands Apart: A Year on the Edge of Civilization and Off Season: Discovering America on Winter’s Shore. He lives in Ventura, California, with his wife and their two sons.