A freelancer goes to investigate a series of boats that have been disappearing...
Maynard is a frustrated journalist who gave up on writing anything important and settled into his life as a magazine writer, churning out assignments but enjoying some freelance work. One day, he stumbles across an amazing statistic: boats are disappearing in the Caicos Islands area of the Caribbean at a steady rate in numbers too high not to beg for an explanation. His editor, though not as excited about it as Maynard, gives him enough encouragement for Maynard to impulsively take a trip, dragging his 12-year-old son Justin along for the ride.
The Caicos are rather remote, and Maynard only manages to get there by hiring a drunken pilot who crashes his plane on landing. Left with time on his hands, Maynard coerces a friendly, retired professor into renting him a boat so he and his son can go fishing, then ignores the professor's warnings about areas to stay away from, and soon finds out firsthand just exactly why all those boats have gone missing.
He finds himself in a hidden island society governed by a harsh set of rules. The islanders welcome his young son into their midst, but Maynard is on borrowed time. He knows he has to escape and remove his impressionable son from the clutches of the islanders before they turn him into someone he doesn't recognize, but his attempts all fail, and it seems hopeless. Even worse, it isn't long before Justin seems to forget him and allies himself with the brutal islanders.