Set on Block Island, twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, the novel begins with Nate West living a simple existence, taking tourists out on his boat, the Legacy. He loves his job and his island, but true love, it seems, has been eluding him over his thirty-plus years, making him wonder if the time has come to move to the mainland and try to find a girlfriend of substance. Everything comes to a halt when Lou Gauthier, the man who raised him after the death of his parents, is found dead. Nate is the only one to suspect murder. Taking it upon himself to investigate, he sets in motion an adventure of a lifetime involving a two-hundred-year-old shipwreck and old family secrets. A small group of loyal friends, an old adversary, and Kate, a beautiful girl from England, join him in his search for the truth. But with the mob close on their heels, lives hang in the balance. The mystery becomes a race that will take them through the seedy streets of Providence, Rhode Island, the historic city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Cuttyhunk, and through a raging storm to finally discover the meaning of Bart & the Compass Rose.