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How Can A Man Die Better Kindle Edition
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The scene shifts to 1862 America, where the plot follows a pacifist Ohio University professor, "Cage" Carew, whose fiancee is murdered by slave traders, led by Devol, who crossed the Ohio River pursuing a fleeing slave. In hope of finding the killers and exacting vengeance, Cage joins the Union Army and marches off to war.
Cage and his mentors - Captain Lyman Dunnock, a retired officer of the British East India Colonial Wars, the fearless and dashing real life Col. Dan McCook, Ty, a stoic lawman with a mysterious past - and a large cast of colorful of characters, track Devol through the war-torn South inside the actual campaign of the 52nd Ohio Infantry. In some ways, the comfortable, confident bonding of men on a dangerous quest felt like Woodrow F. Call and Gus McCrae's friendship in Lonesome Dove or Robert B. Parker's Hitch and Cole buddy westerns. As soldiers must do in war, they developed a moral code to justify the killing while hanging on to their humanity. All wars are terrible, this one perhaps even more so because of brother against brother.
Aside from the Confederate Army - including Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Braxton Bragg, Captain Henry Wirz of Andersonville Prison, and the often-quoted PVT. Sam Watkins of Company Aytch - our heroes are up against vividly evil people with bad intentions: Francois Devol, a diabolical slave trader filled with violent, sadistic lust; an orphaned-by-the Queen - seven- -foot tall Thuggee Indian; and their lackey, a Faith-healer/abortionist and general grifter. It's rare, perhaps never in Civil War fiction, that evildoers are so delightedly created to commit such execrable havoc, and certainly never one woven so intricately into in the real events. Filled with these larger-than-life characters, fictional and historical, the historical accuracy is on point, and it is nearly impossible to parse out fact from fiction. The looming showdown between good and evil provides tension throughout the book with plenty of gallows humor along the gripping, suspenseful journey filled with highs and lows, fear and anger, excitement and sorrow.
There are plenty of moments of comedic relief from book's many grim moments, the hard-boiled delightful dialog is a hoot, and the usage of the poetry of the day bares the emotions and motives of the Civil War soldier. How Can A Man Die Better is a gripping, suspenseful journey full of highs and lows, fear and anger, excitement and sorrow.
Devol is a sexual sadist and cold-blooded murderer, prowling the war ravaged Tennessee countryside to carry out his depravities. He is teamed with the the wonderfully, chillingly murderous Ashok, son of Thug Behram, the real life serial murderer of 927 victims in Colonial India. There are some disturbing scenes, but is wickedly outrageous fun and comes off as entirely plausible. The war scenes are graphic and terrible, but they are authentic and propel the storyline.
It takes awhile for the good guys -- a retired British officer skilled in guerilla warfare, a stoic lawman, a pacifist college professor turned expert sniper, and a host of colorful compatriots -- to arrive, but when they do, they are tough, determined and capable. The looming showdown between good and evil provides tension throughout. The book is very historically detailed, accurate tale of the rough life of the men in battle and on the military campaign, and is told with a lot of respect and wit.
Very impressive first novel!
My only question for the publisher is when is this exciting new author's next book coming out?