While the details of plot and character vary, Mr. Roark's vigorous adventure stories of the days of sailing ships have a basic pattern which gives one a sense of ""this I have read before"". Once again the reader shares a mad chase, successive violent storms, murky experiences on remote islands where ancient pagan customs vie with surface trappings of missionary Christianity. If you like this sort of book, this is a book you will enjoy. The period is post Civil War; the central issues involve ancient feuds, more recent acts of piracy, the overweening lust for power of two self-made men, the mysterious Captain Balkes and the even more mysterious Janvier, who is virtually an island chieftain, and owns a fleet of successful merchant ships. The story is told by the baffled Mr. Ibison, representative of the wronged Boston shipping firm, who was left behind first when the Running Gale, was stolen out of harbor in Valparaiso; then again when Raikes chartered a ship to pursue it. There's plenty of action and color and enough of sex interest to warm up a twice told tale.