A first novel with the Literary Guild endorsement to back it should be off to a good start. Add to this the originality and freshness of the story itself, and you have a book that will be fun to sell. First pick of readers -- the fishing fraternity, for here is that rather rare item, a novel focussed on fishing-specifically, fishing for striped bass, which the author convinces his readers is a madness all its own. Most of the characters in the cast are devotees of the sport; to some it is a business as well; to the priest (perhaps the best character of the lot) it comes to be a disease of the spirit which he must forego. The story is told on several level plots within plots- a bit here, a bit there, with the threads drawn together at the end, most of them happily solved. There's romance, there's a bit of a mystery, there's adventure. And -- for those captured by the magic of the sea to which Rachel Carson provided a key, there's a slender thread of plus interest in the story of an ancient and huge striped bass, glimpses of which spoil those who see her for lesser fish. Even her story ends well, when the priest cuts his line, and frees her to go off to her ledge to die. There's the feel of the Cape Cod coast, the tang of salt air, the lure of a sport that has its own magic. Win Brooks is a newspaper man and a short story writer.