Michael Delaney is a thief taker, a bounty hunter, living in poverty in a slum of New York City called the Rubbles. He has been offered a substantial reward by a very wealthy man to retrieve his daughter, Winnie Wyatt. She has run away to be with her fiancé, a soldier who is fighting in the Seminole war in the Florida Territory.
This soldier, Edward Pierce, is the man who was responsible for Michael Delaney's expulsion from West Point for dueling and his current lowly residence in the Rubbles. Is it the reward or the thought of revenge that causes Michael to accept this perilous mission?
Winnie and her housemaid have changed identities to elude her father's detectives. After a frightening journey, Winnie meets Michael on Indian Key. This island is home to a fleet of wreckers created by Captain Jacob Housman to defeat the wrecking monopoly in Key West. She is abducted during the Indian attack in 1840 and Michael must go into the Everglades to rescue her. This exciting adventure story brings a fascinating little-known chapter of Florida history to vivid life.