From Publishers Weekly
The delightful Maj. Abel Jones (previously met in Parry's series in Faded Coat of Blue, Shadows of Glory and Call Each River Jordan), agent for Abraham Lincoln, appears in London during the summer of 1862 to combat Britannia's flirtation with the Confederacy and prevent construction of ironclad warships for the rebel navy in this humorous historical novel spiced with suspense. His murdered predecessor has been found, thoroughly nibbled, in a basket of eels. Seeking the perpetrator of this crime, Jones roams from odiferous slums to the halls of Parliament (itself plagued by the stench of the Thames), encountering such personages as the cobra-like Disraeli and the nave Henry Adams. Cameos by Trollope, Whistler and Karl Marx enliven the narrative, and Parry has almost too much fun, as when a copper instructs a subordinate, "Go get Wilkie, Collins." The glee the author takes in the narrative voice of his staunchly Methodist hero is infectious, and he brings the era to vivid life. Readers learn more of Jones's history, including his stint in the British army, as thuggee assassins and a dreadful nemesis he had thought dead appear to hound his steps. This is another rollicking entry, capturing "the spirit of our age, the turbulent sixties, with their progress, hope, immodesty and danger. But let that bide, for there is more to tell." Indeed, the next installment is announced on the last page.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
The Union had to face more than the Confederacy during the Civil War. Certain factions in Great Britain were eager to help the South in their endeavors by providing warships to destroy commercial Union vessels. In Parry's fourth Civil War novel (after Faded Coat of Blue and Shadows of Glory), Union major Abel Jones is sent to London to investigate the disappearance of a fellow agent, found dead and half-eaten by eels in a barrel. As Jones becomes enmeshed in the intrigues of British government and witnesses the raw existence of London's poor, he finds himself following leads that take him from Disraeli's parlor to the shipyards of Glasgow. When a child is brutally murdered and menacing ghosts from the past emerge, Jones must confront more than shipyard conspiracies. Although the plot can at times be confusing, the story is intriguing, and Parry fans will enjoy traveling with Abel Jones through the book's dangers to solve the mystery. Highly recommended.- Loree Davis, Broward Cty. Libs., Fort Lauderdale, FL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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