The Cruise Ring

The Cruise Ring is an 81,000-word thriller set in the Caribbean and Miami.

Michael Flynn’s wife has just divorced him and won custody of their four-year-old son.  He takes a Caribbean cruise to get away and lick his emotional wounds.  On the cruise he runs into a group of ten-year-old kids from the Virgin Islands who look drugged up and out of it.  The next day he sees them again and they look even worse off — a boy from the group passes out right in front of him.  Michael’s appalled.  He starts asking questions.  He eventually asks one too many, and gets himself kicked off the ship at the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Not one to be spurned lightly, Michael finds an Antiguan cop and pleads with her to help him rescue the endangered kids.  But the cop won’t go on the ship — not their jurisdiction.  The FBI won’t respond.  The kids need help.  Michael thinks of the son he lost in the custody battle.  He’s emotional; he’s not thinking straight.  He decides to call in a bomb threat to the ship to get the Virgin Islands kids evacuated to the pier.  The cop now agrees to help Michael rescue the boy who passed out — but not the rest of the kids.

Michael discovers that the kids are on a seven-day youth Bible-study tour for impoverished children, paid for by some secret charity, and that the tours operate weekly on the cruise line’s ships around the world.  He imagines hundreds, maybe even thousands of kids being subjected to the same kind of treatment that he just saw on his cruise, and he’s naïve enough to think that he can do something about it.

The FBI being slow to act, Michael, who’s a lawyer in Miami but has no resources and no help, takes the tour company to court himself to try to stop the tours.  It’s just him, green, outmanned; probably going to get his head handed to him — but he’s got a case.  The cruise line and its CEO, Richard Luber, deny any wrongdoing (they are represented by Michael’s ex-wife; her sister helps Michael).  Whoever it is who’s responsible for harming the kids, it’s evident they’ll stop at nothing to wipe out the threat to their lucrative global youth tours operation, and keep the real purpose of the tours concealed.

About James Carroll

James is honors English literature graduate of the University of Wisconsin, a former college English lit instructor, reporter, book reviewer, and editor.  As a litigator he’s handled high-profile cases such as the 2000 Bush-Gore election litigation in Florida, and written a number of published articles.  He’s also appeared on ABC and CNN. 

And he’s taken a lot of cruises.

James is writing a series of Michael Flynn thrillers.  The next book in the series is in progress.

Email James at, or leave a comment below.


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