Stand-Alone Novels

Self-contained adventures not part of a larger series. Five titles, revised and updated:
Check out these new editions, both in ebook or quality trade paper formats.
(Order First Editions, when available, through the First Edition page on this site.)

The Whiteness of the Whale book cover

Available at:

The Whiteness of the Whale: A Novel

An antiwhaling expedition to the freezing Antarctic takes a violent turn in this powerful novel from bestselling author and sailor David Poyer.

After a tragic accident maims her laboratory assistant, Dr. Sara Pollard’s career as a primate behaviorist lies in ruins. With nothing left to lose, Pollard – descendant of a Nantucket captain whose ship was sunk by a rogue whale – accepts an offer to join anti-whaling activists on a round-the-world racing yacht as the resident scientist. The plan is to sail from Argentina to the stormy Antarctic Sea. There they’ll shadow, harass, and expose the Japanese fleet, which continues to kill and process endangered whales in internationally-declared sanctuaries.

But everyone aboard Black Anemone has a secret, or something to live down. Her crew—including a beautiful but narcissistic film celebrity, an Afghan War veteran in search of the buzz of combat, and an enigmatic, obsessive captain—will confront hostile whalers, brutal weather, dangerous ice, near-mutiny, and romantic conflict. But no one aboard is prepared for what Nature herself has in store . . . when they’re targeted by a massive creature with a murderous agenda of its own.

Filled with violence, beauty, and magical evocations of life in the most remote waters on Earth, The Whiteness of the Whale is a powerful adventure by a master novelist.

Ghosting book cover

Available at:

Ghosting: A Novel

Dr. Jack Scales, a prominent neurosurgeon, is at the peak of his career. To celebrate, he decides to make up for lost time and buys a sailing yacht christened Slow Dance, for a family cruise to Bermuda. But the family is strained: Jack’s wife Arlen is secretly considering leaving the marriage; Rick, their bipolar twenty-year-old son, may need to be committed to a group home; Haley, a rebellious teenager, would rather be anywhere but trapped on a boat with her family; and Jack himself is not prepared for the challenge of the open sea.

Day by day, the Scales face mounting dangers. A lightning storm nearly destroys the boat, Rick’s unstable condition worsens, and both Arlen and Haley realize that Jack is in over his head. Still, emerging from the storm, they find a fragile unity…until a man adrift on a raft leads them into danger against a terrifying gang of smugglers, who will stop at nothing to gain control of Slow Dance.

Filled with an expert seaman’s knowledge and driven by conflicted characters, Ghosting is a new direction for an established author: a thrilling adventure as unpredictable as the sea itself.

The Only Thing to Fear book cover

Available at:

The Only Thing to Fear

“Poyer knows what he is writing about” – The New York Times Book Review

In the tradition of The Day of the Jackal and The Key to Rebecca, USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer crafts a tale of politics, assassination, ambition, statesmanship, sacrifice, and love, set against the background of a world at war.

It is the apocalyptic spring of 1945. A young Navy lieutenant, convalescing from action in the Pacific, is transferred to the President’s personal staff. But 27-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy has another mission. His boss, Admiral Leahy, thinks enemy coded traffic points to an assassin in FDR’s personal circle. Who is trying to kill Franklin D. Roosevelt? Why? And how? JFK and screen star and Roosevelt admirer Lauren Wolfe, “The most glamorous woman in the world,” are suddenly the “detectives” as the clock ticks down to April 12, 1945, in Warm Springs, Georgia . . . where two ruthless men, one Russian, one German, and a shadowy and determined American traitor will attempt to alter the course of history.

Set against a vast sweep of stunningly re-created backgrounds — a bombed and burning Berlin, coastal Virginia, the glitter of Palm Beach and Hollywood, the killing fields of Eastern Europe, wartime Washington and small-town Georgia — THE ONLY THING TO FEAR brings the legendary figures of fifty years ago to fierce and passionate life.
Using hundreds of hours of on-site research, interviews, and declassified documents, a master storyteller re-weaves the tapestry of the final days of World War Two into a chillingly plausible portrait of what might really have happened . . . .and reimagines our country’s greatest heroes in a way that is sure to provoke fascination . . . and controversy.

The Return of Philo T. McGiffin book cover

Available at:

The Return of Philo T. McGiffin

In this comic and irreverent novel, author and retired naval captain David Poyer–famous for such bestsellers as The Med, The Gulf, The Circle, The Passage, and other bestselling novels of the modern military–brilliantly re-creates the hothouse world of the U.S. Naval Academy. 

Poyer’s Philo T. McGiffin, arriving at Annapolis to find that he is burdened with the name of a legendary prankster from the class of 1882, attracts attention from the day he reports for Plebe Summer, and the upperclassmen soon make his life a living hell. Stoop-shouldered and meek, he seems an unlikely candidate to carry on the tradition of the original Philo, whose outrageous escapades had served as a symbol of subversive individualism to generations of midshipmen. At first Philo nearly buckles under from the strain, but gradually “The Mouse” learns to roar and ultimately to triumph in the grand style of his predecessor. Funny, touching, and enormously realistic, this madcap novel will bring back to everyone what it was like to be 17 . . . and in deep, deep trouble. . .

White Continent book cover

Available at:

White Continent

For thirty years, diehard David Poyer fans searched used bookstores for the few surviving tattered copies of WHITE CONTINENT. This sprawling first novel reads like a remix of ATLAS SHRUGGED and THE DOGS OF WAR, as retold by Robert Heinlein or Alistair Maclean. It follows a team of adventurers, mercenaries, outcasts, and entrepreneurs in a daring coup to take over the last undeveloped and unclaimed land on earth – the terrifyingly hostile continent of Antarctica. Using advanced technology to survive, they build a Utopian society, both communal and fiercely individualistic, unlike any that exists elsewhere on earth.

Jaded Parisian expat turned Antarctic pioneer Edouard Roudensky is the narrator, forced to drive his pencil over a damp legal pad at the point of a gun. But dozens of other sharply-drawn characters populate these pages too. International legal expert Fumiko Kasuhara; whaler and ice-captain Adrian Larsson; tight-fisted oil-sands billionaire Dorothea Lindahl; icy, sardonic mercenary Robert Blakeley. And many others, from all corners of the world, joined under their red, green, and white flag . . . who then, unexpectedly, find they must fight for their new country, against those who want to take it from them.

This new edition cuts 10,000 words from the original text, reading faster and more smoothly. The geopolitical scene has changed since WHITE CONTINENT was written. But the book is prescient in its foreshadowing of today’s conflicting claims and impending resource wars in places like the Arctic and the China Sea. Fans of Poyer’s later books will notice themes he’s still exploring, such as the search for authentic authority, conflicted heroes, and deeply-layered, multidimensional characters who think as well as act.

The ambition and epic sweep of WHITE CONTINENT, as well as David Poyer’s evocation of the horrific grandeur of the most hostile setting on earth, marked the appearance of a blazing new talent. He would go on to craft nearly forty exciting novels of action, adventure, history . . . always chronicling the struggles of heroic men and women to achieve, endure, and prevail.

The Shiloh Project book cover

Available at:

The Shiloh Project

“The uneasy peace that has existed for more than 100 years between the Confederate States and the United States may be over….” — Civil War Times

A riveting alternate history in the tradition of THE GUNS OF THE SOUTH and SS-GB.

The South won at Gettysburg in 1863. Today the Mason-Dixon Wall divides Union and Confederacy . . . and many other things are different from the world we know. There was no Russian Revolution and no World War Two. The Wright brothers died in fiery crashes, and gigantic Zeppelins cruise the skies.

Nevertheless, a shaky peace has prevailed between the North and South. For decades now, steaming endlessly up and down the North American coast from the Antilles to Nova Scotia, the Great Line has been the guarantor of the policy (first formulated by Winston Churchill in 1955) of “containment” of the expansionist Yankees and their no less aggressive Czarist Russian allies. Each modern line-of-battle ship takes seventeen years to build and strains the resources of its sponsor government.

Only now . . . that ring of guns and steel may be broken.

For the Union has a powerful new weapon, tested on Yokohama during the just-concluded Yankee-Japanese War. Unless the Confederacy can obtain its secret for the Empire, the long balance of terror may tip into global disaster.

Only Colonel Aubrey Lee Quidley IV, Confederate States Army Intelligence, knows of the Shiloh Project’s existence. Until the leak. In a police-state “Dixie Socialist” South, closed off behind barbed wire, there are those who want disaster for their own ends. The vengeful “conditionally emancipated” black Resistance . . . the fascist, genocidal Kuklos League . . . a beautiful Yankee mole inside the highest levels of the Richmond Government.

Together, they’ll turn Quidley’s mission into a treacherous triangle of conspiracy, betrayal, and chaos. But whoever wins, the Confederacy will never be the same. . . .

Stepfather Bank book cover

Available at:

Stepfather Bank

“First-rate satire with a serious core” – Library Journal

“A highly original cautionary tale . . . on more levels than the reader might first suspect.” – Stan Schmidt, editor, Analog

“A jaunty, corkscrew ride through a skewed future” – Alan Dean Foster

“Burlew, his adventures and scams are funny, earthy, heroic, very human…you root for him all the way!” – Florida Times-Union

“It stands as savvy satire. It also stands as a diverting, thinking person’s thriller.” – The Virginian-Pilot

After the Last War and the intereconomicum of the Big Overheat, however, The Bank finally emerged into the open, to exercise what had long been predicted as the final stage of economic evolution: monopoly.
By the year 2110 it has owned Earth (et cetera) for four generations. It’s eliminated armies and armaments, governments and war, cash and crime. Over the span of a hundred years it’s transformed the world genetically, scientifically, culturally, and economically. It employs, is owed by, and so rules everyone. Everyone in the world.
Except Monaghan Burlew.

Burlew’s styled himself as a freelance poet since the day he turned fifteen, completed minimum schooling, and became of Working Age. Since that day he’s never earned a currency unit. Therefore, by law — and the Bank is rigidly legalistic — he pays no percentages and owes no taxes. He owns nothing, and buys nothing, so the Bank can’t “assist the client in question to find the most suitable employment, considering both said client’s talents and the needs of the world economic community” — i.e., tell him where and at what to work.

He’s the only man outside the System. The only one on the planet who’s free.

He also has no idea that, very shortly, he will be Earth’s last hope of surviving an interplanetary catastrophe.

Stepfather Bank was originally published by St. Martin’s Press in hard and soft cover editions. This new revised edition is published by Northampton House Press.

%d bloggers like this: