Ghost Sea

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A spellbinding tale of the sea: love, murder, and mysticism.
At the turn of the century, a Kwakiutl warrior from British Columbia's wild northern islands raids an artifact collector's yacht to reclaim stolen sacred masks. He takes the collector's wife, Kate, as hostage on his 200-mile canoe voyage home. The collector hires Dugger, a coastal trader living on the edges of the law, to give chase in his ketch with the collector as passenger, but Dugger's financial salvation comes at...

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Hard cover First edition. Illustrated. New in new dust jacket. Signed by author. Ferenc Mate Glued binding. With dust jacket. 267 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. Brand New-Gift Quality In a plastic cover Signed by Author Read more Show Less

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Ghost Sea: A Novel (Dugger/Nello Series)

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Overview

A spellbinding tale of the sea: love, murder, and mysticism.
At the turn of the century, a Kwakiutl warrior from British Columbia's wild northern islands raids an artifact collector's yacht to reclaim stolen sacred masks. He takes the collector's wife, Kate, as hostage on his 200-mile canoe voyage home. The collector hires Dugger, a coastal trader living on the edges of the law, to give chase in his ketch with the collector as passenger, but Dugger's financial salvation comes at a terrible price, for he is Kate's secret lover. Day and night Dugger sails the uncharted islands, through raging currents and ship-swallowing whirlpools, and the account of his pursuit is interwoven with Kate's harrowing and erotically charged journey.
Based on a true story, this novel reaches its thrilling climax at the last secret, hallucinatory potlatch of the ancient Kwakiutl culture, where the history of a doomed people is melded with the fury of three hearts.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For his fiction debut, nautical and travel author Mate (The Hills of Tuscany) introduces antihero-adventurer, S.V. Dugger, working boat salvage in the Pacific Northwest until he rescues a ketch set loose in a storm, its owner's remains discovered the following morning. Dugger fixes the boat and falls for Kate, the wife of George Hay, an unscrupulous Indian artifacts collector. When Kate heads to the Canadian coast, it is unclear if she goes as a kidnap victim or willingly, but there's no doubt the two Kwakiutl Indians transporting her are bad news. Despite rumors of cannibalism, ghosts and barbaric rites, Dugger pursues them-accompanied by Nello, his half-Kwakiutl half-Italian mate; Charlie, the Chinese cook; and Kate's husband. They navigate dangerous waters, murderous enemies and Kwakiutl settlements, only to discover Charlie, a girl in boy's clothing, is not the only one on board who is not who she appears to be. Mate excels at descriptions of boats and coastal geography, enthralling with unlikely subjects like polishing wood, conveying a cargo of illegal immigrants and steering through fog. His evocations of Kwakiutl rituals are richly sensory, but strain credulity. His dialogue captures nautical camaraderie, but his secondary characters teeter on stereotype. And Kate proves so open to new experiences that Dugger might be better off losing her and keeping the boat. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In his fiction debut, Mate (The Hills of Tuscany, 1998, etc.) writes about two consuming interests: sailing, and Canada's Kwakiutl Indians. There's also a pasted-on plot involving a rescue mission. Dugger, the protagonist, is salvaging logs off a wretched coastal town in British Columbia when he rescues an unmanned ketch and becomes its new owner. The ketch is his pride and joy, but Dugger has another love interest, the married Katherine Hay, whom he once taught to sail. She's little more than a generic tease, a siren, but she's Dugger's obsession, and when he's offered good money to rescue her from two escaped Kwakiutl convicts, he jumps at the chance. He will head north to uncharted islands, searching for their canoe. His crew consists of his old friend Nello (Italian father, Kwakiutl mother) and a teenaged Chinese cook; the one passenger is Katherine's husband. Apparently, all this takes place after World War I. Mate is as vague about dates as he is about Dugger's checkered past; characterization takes a back seat to the challenge of the sea. Here, Mate does a good job, tracking the ketch through perilous storms and fogs; there's an extraordinary description of Dugger rescuing dying Chinese from a stricken tramp steamer. That, however, is a flashback. The mission, slow to start, lacks a clean narrative line, bogging down in complications. Their passenger proves to be an imposter, who may be in cahoots with a Japanese sharpshooter bearing down on them in a tug. The author works in his knowledge of the Kwakiutl once the ketch reaches Nello's old village in time for the potlatch, an ancient gift-giving ceremony that degenerates into cannibalism before armed white men show up. By the end,there have been so many deaths and resurrections that the tale has lost all credibility. There are just enough flashes of suspense to hold out promise for the next in the projected series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780920256497
  • Publisher: Albatross
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Series: Dugger/Nello Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ferenc Máté is the author of 15 books translated into 12 languages, including New York Times Notable Book A Vineyard in Tuscany and the Dugger/Nello historical sea adventure fiction series. He lives in a 13-century friary with his family tending vines and olives in Tuscany. Visit www.ferencmate.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2007

    Fascinating Northwest Nautical Mystery

    Not since 'Proving Ground' have I found a sailing story quite as gripping. I'll read anything on sailing, from Slocum's and Montessiors round-the-world travels, to this may become one of sailings finer mysteries - carefully weaving a forbidden love story, a young sailors first real boat, into a discovery of one of the fabled Northwest's outlawed pow wows between many of the indigenous first American tribes that still live North of Vancouver. As tightly woven a sailing mystery and discovery of the early Northwest as I've ever come across.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

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    Posted December 26, 2011

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