On a trip to Key West to talk with a wealthy developer about a new building project, Deal stops to help a young black man who is being rousted by police on a lonely beach road. The young man is appreciative, which makes it all the more shocking two days later, when he turns up dead. What happened? The police won't say. The locals won't talk. An old girlfriend appears, but Deal can't tell if she's there to help or hinder him. References keep being made to a 70-year-old tale of piracy and murder as if it should mean something to him. All Deal knows for sure is that the more he looks into it all, the more layers he finds, and the more people seem to have died. And that, unless he can get to the bottom of it soon, the next death just might be his own.