On the outer banks of the Carolinas in 1941, fishermen and a few lonely sailors constitute the human population. Dominating the rough yet beautiful landscape is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, run for generations by the Thurlow family. But Josh Thurlow, the lighthouse keeper's son, has forsworn his heritage to become the commander of a small Coast Guard patrol boat.
Tortured by twenty years of guilt for losing his brother at sea, Josh still searches for him, even while a looming wolf pack of German U-boats threatens to decimate the shipping lanes off the coast. One of the U-boats is captained by a hardened Nazi, Otto Krebs. But Captain Krebs may bring ashore more than the war - he may also have the answer to Josh Thurlow's quest.