At the centre of The Navigator of New York is the rivalry between Robert Peary and Frederick Cook to be the first American to reach the North Pole. Its protagonist, however, is Devlin Stead, a young man from St John's, Newfoundland. Devlin's mother dies, in mysterious circumstances, when he is only five, and he endures a lonely childhood before discovering the truth about his parentage. That discovery transforms his life: he finds his true father and embarks on a journey of unbelievable risk. His adventure brings him celebrity, acclaim from New York 'society', real love, and finally the truth about the bitter feud between two strange, driven men.