Bestselling YA author Hinton’s first adult foray, a lurid tale of a boy who goes wrong but is rescued by a man with an even more wicked past.
In a plot with more bells and whistles than a new PC, Hinton mixes crime, horror, and redemption with a heavy hand in the story of young Jamie Summers. Reared by uncaring nuns in an orphanage after his single mother died, Jamie hasn’t had an easy life: the nuns were tough, the Navy taught him useful skills but wasn’t a picnic either, and, after that, sailing the Seven Seas with Kell, a charismatic criminal, was often perilous. Hospitalized now for depression, Jamie recalls in therapy how he fought with pirates, was attacked by sharks, ran guns for the IRA, got jailed for alleged rape, and killed a man. His hospitalization is being paid for by the wealthy Grenville Hawkes, who lives in the old Hawkes family mansion in Delaware. Jamie is grateful for all Grenville has done—helping him reform, giving him a job and a home. But Grenville wasn’t always the benign entrepreneur who restored the family fortunes, and he has his own reasons for helping Jamie, who is haunted by memories of their meeting and its consequences. (In the therapy sessions, Jamie becomes agitated if it gets dark or there’s thunder.) Before he met Grenville, Jamie learned of pirate treasure rumored to be buried in a cave near the abandoned Hawkes mansion. One night, Jamie paid a visit but found more than pirate treasure: a man suddenly arose from a coffin, asked what year it was, then fell upon Jamie’s neck and began sucking his blood. Jamie is released to Grenville before his therapy ends and endures further challenges.
Despite the sex and violence, more YA than adult.