The narrative drive of earlier books (Island in the Sky, Benjamin Lawless) with some sentimental, regenerative overtones, this tells of Bruno Felkin, a confirmed criminal, on the run after killing a man, as he escapes to the San Francisco docks, hides out on the boat of Hamil Linder, a fisherman. Persuading Hamil to keep him on- as a hand, Bruno also hires Carl, Hamil's malcontent son, to carry on his deliveries (dope) to his customers, and to see that Connis, his girl, in cared for. As the weeks pass, each exerts his own influence. Carl, in his exposure to Bruno, loses, his ambition to earn a fast buck, gains a respect for his father he had never had; Bruno, in the admiration and affection he holds for Hamid Linder who treats him like a son gives up the plan for a getaway which will incriminate Carl and ends by giving up his life to save Carl in a storm at sea. A story of action played out on two levels, moral and physical, the drama here is direct rather than subtile holds its own on a popular plane.