|BCA hardback, 1995. Jacket illustration: Rolf Moyr.|
"The great powers are at peace - but private conflicts are eternal: witness the blood feud between the Merchanter ships Sprite - crewed by the several-hundred member Hawkins family - and Corinthian, a ship suspected of trading with pirates and smugglers. But this rivalry isn't mercantile; it's fuelled by Sprite Cargo Chief Marie Hawkins's vendetta against Corinthian Captain Austin Bowie, a burning crusade that has warped Marie's life, driving her half mad. When both ships dock at Mariner space station, Marie vanishes. Fearing that she is bent on vengeance - a vengeance that might jeopardize Sprite's trading status and future - Marie's 23-year-old son Tom tries to find and stop her, only to be shanghaied aboard Corinthian.
Now Tom is trapped, destination unknown on a starship speeding him away from all he has known, with no hope of rescue or return...held prisoner by a crew fanatically loyal to Tom's sworn enemy.
The man who, decades before, battered and violently raped Tom's mother.
Tom Hawkins's father..."