From Publishers Weekly
Grave robbing and witches provide the atmospheric overture as Maj. Abel Jones, agent for Abraham Lincoln, investigates the murder of a Northern general in his fifth suspenseful adventure. In the preceding novel, Honor's Kingdom, the diminutive Welshman was in England working for the Union's interests, but here he returns home to "dear Pottsville" in Pennsylvania. Jones must journey deeper into coal country when Gen. Carl Stone, who had been recruiting Irish miners for the Union army, is found slain. The confessed killer has died of cholera, but a cautionary check of his grave finds interred instead the body of a young woman who has been stabbed to death. The intrigue thus triggered brings Jones up against a mad priest, local witch women and the tight-knit society of the Irish mining community (among its members is Black Jack Kehoe, later notorious in the Molly Maguires). Complicating the investigation are clues pointing to Russia and schemes for world revolution from the prewar years when the general went by the name of Carl von Steinbrock. Inevitably the investigation returns to the Irish immigrants, "Those famine lads cut loose to find their keep, in a world that did not want them or their kind." With this latest novel, the pseudonymous Parry-otherwise known as Ralph Peters, the author of thrillers (The Devil's Garden) and policy-wonk nonfiction (Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World)-ably advances his series of historical fiction. The usual amusing observations of his tight-laced hero and a rousing finale set during the grim battle of Fredericksburg are sure to please his devoted following.
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Parry continues his excellent Civil War mystery series featuring Union Army detective Abel Jones. When a Union general attempting to recruit Irish immigrant laborers is murdered, President Lincoln assigns Abel to the case. During the course of his inquiry, he uncovers the putrefied body of a young girl buried in another man's grave. Sensing these two homicides are linked, he sets out to establish a firm connection between them. Abel's investigation contains several surprising twists and turns, culminating in a chilling admission of guilt from a greedy capitalist determined to maximize his profits during the lucrative war years. Another evocative and boldly executed historical whodunit irresistibly steeped in Civil War atmosphere and arcana. Margaret FlanaganCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved