Editorial Review: Bay of Devils by Grahame Shannon
A mystery from half a century ago presents itself to Sean Gray in the form of a letter from the doomed SS Princess Sophia which sank in 1918. What follows is a fast-paced and fun tale of sailing, pirates, and buried treasure.
Elizabeth entrusts an attorney to engage Sean Gray in tracking down not only the woman who delivered the letter to her, but also to launch an expedition to the places described in the letter. Sean wants to know why finding the locations are important to Elizabeth, and as it turns out - treasure is the answer. It seems, however, that they aren’t the only ones after it. Cindy is assaulted as a warning to stay away from Sean, the pair are threatened by a larger vessel while out sailing, and a series of break-ins put everyone on edge. Deciding that it would be best to get the expedition underway quickly, they assemble a new team aboard Elizabeth’s magnificent ship, the Lady L. As Sean and his new crew sail towards their salvage mission, things get serious.
This story balances fun and lively dialogue with interesting historical investigation. Because the basis of the story – the sinking of the SS Princess Sofia in 1918 – is a real event, Bay of Devils slips itself in between those details which makes it a riveting read. While the plot is brilliantly down to earth, the characters are superb examples of larger than life personalities taking on immense challenges with ease and good humor.
The real art of Grahame Shannon’s writing is the way the reader finds themself invested in the details; the rich vibrancy of the writing is engaging even when the characters make illogical decisions. These flaws are exactly what make people real, and Shannon captures this element of humanity really well.
Anyone who has read Shannon’s first Alaskan sailing adventure will enjoy Bay of Devils, though readers who enjoy mysteries and adventure books will gain a similar enjoyment. Even those who do not personally enjoy or know a lot about sailing will find the story engaging, the sailing scenes add texture and are the perfect armchair adventure for those who quite like the idea of a sailing adventure but may not enjoy the reality of it.
Bay of Devils is an enjoyable and fun adventure solving the mystery alongside Sean Gray and his crew, it is a refreshing read full of well thought out plot and excellent characters.