According to island legend, the Judas Bird is a mysterious, seldom-seen resident of Roatán Island that makes itself known to precious few in the first light of pre-dawn. Following each infrequent visit this elusive bird vanishes, with its mournful call never heard in the light of day. To hear the bird is an unusual eventan experience that foreshadows change, usually bringing good luck for the observer.
Until recently Roatán was a little-known Caribbean island, but now (1995) an evil has descended. A small gang of murderous, modern day land-pirates abruptly become the law, terrorizing the islands once peaceful population. Francisco Downer, an old man with a mysterious ability to see into the past is about to lose his familys land to these pirates. To thwart this frightening evil now confronting the Downer family, the old man turns to Todd Wilson, a young, prior Peace Corps volunteer who, during his tour of duty on the island, once lived in Franciscos home. After an absence of five years, Todd returns to find the delicate fabric of the islands peaceful culture under immediate threat, devastated by a cascade of rapid changes that leave terror and murder in their wake.
Meanwhile, Colleen Kennit, a young woman residing on a small Scottish island, finds herself living a surrealistic dream, suddenly becoming the heiress of a quiet mountain estate on a tropical island in the western Caribbean that she has never heard of. Upon arriving on Roatán, she immediately falls in love with the estate and the local people, but soon discovers that all is not well. She is trapped as a pawn, wrapped into a dark, diabolical web of greed that threatens her new home.
Desperately wanting to rid the island of the evil and fear that now grips it, Todd puts a clever but complex plan to work. Guided by the old mans secret memories into the past, Todd uncovers the key to an ancient Spanish legend regarding a secluded cove and the location of a treasure, buried there over three hundred years before. Digging deeper into this incredible mystery, Todd struggles with his growing love for the beautiful Colleen and his crucial mission one that could potentially cost him his life.
With his plan seemingly crumbling and a hurricane bearing down on the island, Todd finds himself in a race against time. As things begin to go tragically wrong his only hope lies with a belief in his interpretation of the ancient Spanish legend and the faint, mournful call of the elusive Judas Bird.
The Judas Bird quickly captures its readers, wrapping them in the age-old human dramas of intense greed, murder, and romance. David K. Evans crafts a tight plot with charming prose and gentle glimpses of the turbulent years of the 17th century, a time when the island was the primary rendezvous for the Brethren of the Coast, the lusty, hard-living buccaneers and pirates sailing the Western Caribbean. Blending the majestic with the mundane and using the intricate characterization of colorful islanders and his knowledge of island dialogue and customs, the author paints a beautiful and exciting portrait of modern life on a small island that was both isolated and unknown until but a few years ago.