“What happens on the water stays on the water,” is the attitude in this fishing community on the fictional New England community of Fog Island.
Things are not going well for 12-year-old Eddie Atwell and his family. Poachers have stolen roughly 1,000 pounds of lobsters from the Atwell’s “car” (the mostly submerged, enclosed pen used to hold lobsters in seawater), and Eddie’s dad is on the mainland having surgery. All the action takes place within 24 hours, with each chapter heading counting down the minutes. At 4:05 in the morning, Eddie sneaks away from his sister Laurie to go fishing on Greenhead Point. At 5:01, he stumbles upon the stolen lobsters and learns Laurie’s boyfriend, Jake, is one of the poachers. At 5:40, Eddie meets 13-year-old Briggs Fairfield, a geeky rich kid who escaped from the nearby sailing camp because he is being bullied by Marty, one of the counselors—who also happens to be the ringleader of the thieves. By 9:45 that evening, the chase is on. The story is relies a touch too heavily on character and regional stereotypes, while some of the situations seem far-fetched.
Nevertheless, an action-packed tale with guns and boat chases that will appeal to reluctant readers. (Adventure. 10-14)