The Prodigal

Written by S.K. Keogh
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

During the late 17th century on the Atlantic Ocean, primarily in the West Indies, pirates roam the high seas looking for plunder while causing misery and death wherever they sail. As a young boy, John Mallory and his mother are on board a merchant ship sailing to the English colonies in America. Attacked by pirates led by James Logan, his mother is kidnapped. John is then mistaken as one of the pirate crew by his rescuers and sent to Newgate Prison in England. After seven years in prison, upon reaching the age of twenty-one, the young man seeks revenge for his mother’s kidnapping. In his search for Logan, he changes his Christian name to Jack and meets a young woman named Maria Cordero, who also seeks revenge for the death of her father at the hands of Logan. With the help of a former pirate and cell-mate, he assembles his own pirate crew, finds a ship, and sails the Caribbean to search for and rescue his mother.

This novel is the first in a series. Keogh has done an exceptional job in creating a character that has the potential to be an exciting, realistic hero of the 17th century. The story is fast paced, and her knowledge of maritime lingo during the Age of Sail is historically accurate. An excellent read and highly recommended.