The Ghost Trap Will Capture You

The Ghost Trap is a compelling novel, propelling you along through the deep water, on board Jamie Eugley’s lobster boat of a life, anchored to a brain-damaged girlfriend who nearly died after being swept off the boat and ever-after becomes his burden, with a lobstering father who hates him, a daily life full of beer, boasts, bragging and battles, and friends who seem – well, not so friendly.

 Then there is the enemy, family name of Fogerty, better known as the “Drunk Fogertys.” And a newby from away who tries to buy his way into the closed close-knit lobstering culture, by hook and by crook.

I ate up every bit of it, and wished K. Stephens had written a lot more than 326 pages. The author, Kay Stephens, uses her initial on this book to distinguish it from her next nonfiction book. I don’t know what that book is all about, but I can tell you right now I will read it. Kay is a powerful writer with a lot to say.

“Most days he woke up, his body twisted with the kind of ache that made him suck his back teeth before sitting up in the dark.” That’s the first sentence. I could feel that ache. And the darkness beyond.

From trap wars to human tragedies, this is life at it’s grittiest – or it’s best, depending on whether you think lobstering is the best or worst of all possible jobs and life in a small coastal fishing village is paradise or hell on earth. Truthfully, it’s a bit of both.

This novel, published in 2009 by Leapfrog Press LLC, is a sensitive, richly descriptive, haunting story, and it rings true.

On her website, Kay describes herself this way: “I’m a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience in writing promotional materials for Maine businesses. My niche is the creative economy, artists and entertainers and hospitality venues. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it that makes your business memorable.”

All I can tell you is: she can write, and this is one very memorable novel.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.