Thrilling adventure of dredging for pirate treasure on an island off the Maine coast, by the authors of the best-selling Relic (1995) and Reliquary (1997). Several centuries back, the English pirate Edward Ockham buried what is now $2 billion worth of treasure on Ragged Island. Sometime later, a cod-fishing boat was shipwrecked there, and a strange depression in the island strongly suggested that something lay underneath. Indeed, buried bulwarks point to human handiwork, and at last a Water Pit is discovered, with underground passageways leading to it that protect the treasure from recovery. Over the centuries, various dredging companies are formed and financed to suck out the Water Pit. But the Pit must have been designed by a genius: It includes several protective tunnels under sea-level that collapse when engineers attempt to keep them open. Nearly a dozen companies go bust. Today, the Hatch family owns Ragged Island, though the father won—t allow his sons to visit the place. Still, one son is killed below, and only 30 years later does a new high-tech Hatch dredging operation get started, using the strongest titanium to shore up the very deeply buried Water Pit. When the Pit is finally drained enough to allow villainous Captain Neidelman to get to the buried treasure first, he discovers himself possessed by the fabulously jewel-encrusted but radioactive Sword of St. Michael, by which the archangel defeated Satan during war in heaven. The folding of such fantasy material into a generally realistic novel hurts not a whit. A tremendous storm at sea with staggeringly high waves will have you jumping up for a lifesaver. Unstoppable suspense and mystery.