A period and regional- rather than an historical- novel, this falls far short of the publisher's claim of ""perhaps his greatest historical novel"". He has brought into conjunction more than conceivably belongs together:- religious conflict, sibling rivalry, piracy, witch hunting, and an interlude between two innocent but lusty young people on a desert island. The setting is the Bahamas to which- some 27 years after the Mayflower landing, Silas Sutton, a religious zealot and dissenter, and his brother Paul, a doctor- embark with a group of like thinkers. There the iron-willed Silas proposes to shepherd his flock and serve, to the letter, what he sees as the Word of God. The brothers are natural enemies- Paul is rich-blooded and a pantheist, and their difficulties increase when Paul falls in love with Anne, Silas' betrothed. And Silas, meantime, finds himself tormented by his lust for Lilli, a French girl of easy virtue, and further maddened by his grim determination to wage a British war against the Spaniards of the Indies. He nearly condemns Lilli to the stake (is it because he dares not reveal his own suspected impotence?) and then becomes a martyr in giving his life in a struggle against the Spaniards. Here once again-this is Slaughter's twenty seventh novel-are the ingredients as before, pressed down and running over. But- no doubt- his insatiable market will enjoy it.