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Critical Praise

"With this book, Homer Hickam expands his range, as never before, into the realm of fiction, and the result is a compelling novel of war, romance, haunting guilt, and victory. The Keeper's Son brings alive a special place and time, the Outer Banks of North Carolina before and during World War II, and the culture of fishermen, wreckers, surf men, and lighthouse keepers. It also gives the German side in a mirroring, parallel story that connects in a thrilling climax, revealing family secrets and conflicting loyalties. With a wealth of technical and historical detail, this is a story about learning to forgive ourselves and learning to accept the gifts of life and love."

——Robert Morgan, bestselling author of Gap Creek and Brave Enemies

"Homer Hickam is the best natural storyteller I've read in years."

——Stephen Coonts

"In the best tradition of sea sagas, The Keeper's Son is both beautifully written and nerve-wrackingly suspenseful. Homer Hickam is a master at creating atmosphere out of words, evoking time and place so that the reader becomes nostalgic for Mr. Hickam's world. Homer Hickam's foray into fiction is a home run."

——Nelson DeMille

"A gutsy Coast Guard officer battles German submarines and 17 years of unfettered guilt on the North Carolina coast in 1941 and 1942 in this high adventure yarn. Hickam, the author of the memoir Rocket Boys (which was turned into the film October Sky), knows a great deal about submarine warfare in WWII, as evidenced by his 1989 nonfiction naval history, Torpedo Junction. This is the first novel of a planned series about rough and tumble Coast Guard Lt. Josh Thurlow and his unusual patrol boat crew during WWII. Josh, 31, is a career officer assigned to Killakeet Island, along North Carolina's treacherous Outer Banks. Both he and his father-the keeper of the Killakeet Lighthouse-are haunted by the loss at sea and presumed death of Josh's two-year-old baby brother 17 years earlier. Shaken from his brooding by the appearance of German U-boats, Josh must try to protect the merchant ships torpedoed every night offshore. His patrol boat is small and ill-equipped, and his crew is a wacky group of casual islanders who aren't sure they really want to fight anybody. A talented U-boat commander named Krebs becomes Josh's honored enemy, but another U-boat skipper is a far more ruthless and dangerous adversary. Josh must fight both, as well as his suspicions that his little brother may not be dead after all; the reappearance of a childhood sweetheart leavens the mix. Hickam provides a vivid and convincing portrayal of life under the sea in a U-boat, as well as on the surface in a fragile patrol boat. Well-crafted characters, gripping naval warfare and colorful island life come together in this dynamic and exciting tale. Agents, Frank Weimann and Mickey Freiberg. (Oct.) Forecast: The success of the Rocket Boys trilogy should help launch this new series, as should an extensive author tour-Hickam is a practiced speaker."

——Publisher's Weekly, 8/03