Black the Night and Wild the Sea is a story of adventure and intrigue set in the turbulent era of the Australian gold rushes. It is also a love story between two very different characters: Michael Byrnes, a warm hearted but roguish Irish adventurer, and Sele Kanawa, a beautiful and passionate Eurasian missionary. The story ranges from the wild southern coast of Australia to the jungles of the Cape York Peninsula and the wild unexplored islands of Melanesia, where brutal sea captains abducted natives to work as virtual slave labourers, and missionaries risked their lives to stop them. It is also a tale of a woman torn between her love for God and the work she feels called to do, and her love for a man determined to make his fortune. Vincent Smith grew up in an industrial town in England and moved to Australia when he was sixteen. It was then that he fell under the spell of the islands of the South West Pacific and their turbulent history. For the past half century he has served as a minister and chaplain to the Australian army, police and emergency services; some of it in the places where this story is set.