cover image Ghosting


David Poyer, St. Martin's, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-61302-0

Successful neurosurgeon Jack Scales, self-centered and oblivious, sets out with his reluctant wife, teenage daughter, and college-age son on what's intended to be a triumphant cruise aboard his motorized sailboat, Slow Dance, from Long Island to Bermuda in this trite story of outrage and punishment from Poyer (The Crisis). The overconfident, inexperienced sailor shrugs off advice, unaware that his wife loves another man or how unprepared he is for the realities of the sea. A lethal accident is only the first calamity to disrupt the voyage; Slow Dance later nearly sinks in bad weather. When a moment of misguided charity leaves the Scaleses in the hands of a gang of bloodthirsty pirates, the family's survival depends on Jack's limited cunning. Poyer relies on graphic scenes of violence, murder, and rape as well as on moral clichés familiar from action movies, even providing closure with a comforting final moral that contradicts all he has shown us. (Nov.)