Michael, an ex-pilot who was tortured by the Nazis, is pursued by night . He takes to sea in a sloop. One day, off the coast of Maine, a colossal storm strikes and he is shipwrecked in an inlet guarded by a whale-sized white shark. Michael is put up by the widow Katherine and her son Chris, 9, who believes Michael was sent to slay the shark. He tells Chris he won't kill the shark but the boy reinterprets him constantly. He also tells Katherine that he cannot love anything (except his ship). When townsmen try to stop him from leaving, he sneaks out through the bay on the morning tide but is attacked by the shark which fails to link the sloop. Though he escapes to sea, he has a change of heart, turns about and, apprarently returns to do battle. The first scenes, the shark's attack and Chris's hero-glorifying of Michael are second-hand experiences at best. Some nice sea-prose here and there.