PIRATES OF PENSACOLA

Keith Thomson, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-33499-4

A pirate arrives by motorboat to crash a high society costume ball in 1976 Florida and winds up abandoning his only son, Morgan, for a prison sentence in screenwriter Thomson's beguiling, energetic debut. Flash forward to 2004 Miami, where Vail & Co. accountant Morgan feels scarred from a cheerless childhood with an insensitive foster family. But then Isaac, newly freed from prison, resurfaces to regale Morgan with the story of $42.7 million worth of gold ingots he'd smuggled decades earlier from the rival Hood family of the Caribbean's Sugar Islands. And by the way, Isaac tells the baffled Morgan, your real last name is Cooke, "as in the great Pirates Cooke." "Borrowing" Morgan's company's yacht, enthusiastic father drugs reluctant son and sets off with treasure map in hand. They must fend off Vail & Co. crooks and a succession of deadly pirates led by the revenge-hungry Lafitte brothers. The father-son epic quest finds them jail-breaking, boat-stealing, cannonball-dodging and male-bonding on their way to Booty Island's treasure (with assistance from plucky maiden Polly and an alcoholic talking parrot, Captain Roy). Crowned with buccaneer vernacular, plenty of colorful extras and a feel-good ending, it's a vivid adventure tale befitting the high seas of Hollywood. Agent, Richard Abate . (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/14/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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