Hidden Cargo

Robin Lloyd

Navy Lieutenant Everett Townsend has been reduced to captain of a schooner, USS Rebecca. The military ship is now a dispatch and supply vessel stationed in Key West. The peace and quiet makes Everett restless. Then he finds a damaged vessel with dead men who are trapped in a secret hatch – but one clings to life and tells Everett his name and where he escaped from. Everett ponders what to do about this secret. Yet when he is sent to Cuba to investigate the murder of an American sailor, Everett is apprehensive about the perilous trip which will also put him in close proximity to his estranged grandmother. When Everett gets there, he discovers the ugly truth about his family, who he truly is, and wrecks his second chance at romance.

A deeply emotional and poignant tale of the aftermath of the Civil War, slavery, and rebellion told exceptionally well! The vivid descriptions of life aboard a sea-worthy craft, to the colorful depictions of Key West and Cuba will throw the reader into another war that will destroy many. The book does drag at times, yet it touches on tough subjects delicately. With each mystery that is thrown out, a solution doesn’t seem plausible or feasible, yet the characters manage to weather what is thrown at them. Everett, the pragmatic, reasonable hero, manages to maintain the calm reserved-ness, which he also carries with him into his relationship with Emma, so it is hard to even see the love between the two. Still, this is definitely an intelligently written fable that is spellbinding!

Roslynn Ernst