Luke Coffin is a hardworking, easy going, Maine lobsterman who asks little more from life than to earn his living on the ocean aboard his boat, Luke’s Dream, and on Friday nights, to drink a few beers with his buddy, “Munsey” Munson, a good friend with a flair for creative language who, Luke is sure, has never had an unspoken thought.
Luke’s mother, Barbara, is a classic
character, mouthy and affectionate, but his father was another matter. His constant criticism and verbal abuse left his usually even-tempered son prone to fits of rage. Maine
In the early 1980s, he meets and falls deeply for Emily Goodwin, a student at prestigious
. The young couple basks in the warmth of new love as their romance takes them to Monhegan, the many islands of Bowdoin College Casco Bay, and the fishing community of Harpswell that is Luke's home. They marry in May, 1983 and, within eighteen months, their daughter, Alison, is born. Luke wonders if he will need a larger heart to hold the love he feels for his wife and child.
The Coffins seem to be living a fairy tale life until Emily, in her mid-thirties, drives her Honda Civic off the
and into the Gurnet Bridge . The Cumberland County Sheriff's Department calls it an accident, but Pete Whelan, an eccentric and mysterious recluse, knows better. Emily was murdered. But because Pete has a precious secret of his own, he dare not go to the police with his information. New Meadows River
While a teacher at
, Emily had become the unwilling object of the flirtatious advances of Lance O’Neall, a fellow teacher and consummate womanizer. As the harassment escalates, Emily, fearful of Luke's response, confides in a friend, single mother Jessica Lamarreau who was herself once subject to stalking and abuse. The following day, Pete Whelan overhears a confrontation in Emily's classroom and, later that evening, witnesses her murder. Brunswick High School
Luke is overwhelmed by his loss and hell-bent on revenge against Lance, whom he thinks is responsible for Emily’s death.
Brian Daniels writes with compelling intensity of the bittersweet complexities of human emotion that accompany life, love and loss. Luke’s Dream is, at once, a story of tender romance and a riveting suspense thriller.