Twelve year old Evan Peregrine is plagued by nightmares where he relives the accident at sea where he lost not only his leg but his mother as well. Currently living with his Uncle Cedric on the small island of Little Yarnmouth, his days are filled with his studies at school on the neighboring island of Middle Langton where he is constantly being bullied by B. H. Potts, a rich boy who looks down on him. With a storm brewing, Evan keeps his eye on the sky during his after school detention. But detention is only the beginning of his problems as he is quickly accusing, by B.H. Potts of course, of having murdered the teacher who ordered the detention. Evan makes a run for it. He aims his little boat into the wild storm and sets course for Little Yarnmouth but instead is blown ashore on to a third island, Little Reikel, where he meets Nira. Nira is about his age and is an actress in the making. She persuades Evan to take her with him as her father took their boat over to Middle Langton. Along the way they stop at Little Yarnmouth to find the island completely deserted of its inhabitants. They do find two rather shady characters resting in another boat at the pier.
As Evan sets about to prove his innocence and rescue the abducted residents of Little Yarnmouth, he runs into several colorful characters, among them a dog named Corporal Punishment and a rat named Charles who likes to play fetch. Eventually Evan’s name is cleared, his nightmares although not gone now have an newly added aspect, and the rescued islanders look at him in a heroic fashion.
Although this book is geared toward young adult readers there is much here for the adult reader as well. Well drawn characters, a setting that is harsh and unforgiving (North Scotland Isles), a plot full of twists and turns, and a mystery unlike any other I’ve read all make for a page-turning story that will hold your interest. Happily, the conclusion lends itself to a possible sequel. A great story to be read by parents with their children.