This historical novel recreates a 1920’s world of Prohibition, complete with rumrunners and big city mobsters. Young Ruben had heard tales of a legendary rumrunning vessel, the Black Duck, but when he accidentally witnesses the boat making a drop his world changes forever. Tensions erupt between Ruben and his best friend, and Ruben soon comes to believe that his best friend’s father, who also happens to be the sheriff, may be involved with the mob.
The story is told through the eyes of an adult Ruben, who recounts the tale to a young journalism student. Overall, this is an accurate, fast-paced, satisfying historical novel for young readers.