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Smuggler's Island
HarperCollins, 1994
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Smuggler's Island

“You're crazy, Shadrach Faherty,” Davey called. “Crazy! You're going to get yourself killed!”

Shadrach is enraged. Bootleggers have taken over his island home, using it as a base from which to run their illegal operations. The community cooperates because its silence has been bought, and times are hard. But Shadrach can't be bought. Instead, he vows to gather all the information he can to bust the criminals. He succeeds, but then chooses the wrong man to tell.

Living on a poor island in 1932, a young boy determines, despite his family's bitter opposition, to identify and somehow bring to justice the liquor smugglers who have been terrorizing the island.

Story Behind the Story

People are constantly telling writers, “I have a great story for you.”

If the writer is patient he/she will hear a narrative about something that happened to the storyteller. Truth to tell, sometimes these are good and even interesting stories, but simply don’t resonate with the writer. More often than not, they are simply curious narratives that do not have much literary possibility. Of course, the tellers of these tales are not interested in writing the story themselves.

But in one instance someone did tell me a story which caught my attention. It happened this way. read more

Awards and Honors

Mystery Writers of America, special award, 1983


“The plot’s twists and surprises maintain suspense to the very end.” (The Horn Book)

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