DRUMS OF APRIL by Charles Mergendahl


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Charles Mergendahl handles contemporary fiction more successfully, and this is taps and lights-out as a Revolutionary War novel. It staggers between fact and fiction like a man with a cannonball between his eyes. There is some spade work about rabble soldiery and Boston prison conditions, but the novel's texture is several threads thinner than Rabble in Arms or Citizen Tom Paine. Tom Willet, a Britisher, becomes a turncoat and spies for the rebels, but the real villain is master-spy Mad Anthony Quinn (sic). Of the three women, the good-good girl, the good-bad girl, and the bad-good girl, the good-bad girl has the job of seducing George Washington, a monumental task. The sex is de rigueur, but the women do most of the seducing here. The posthumous battle and prison scenes are the book's best passages, and for the most part, this is commercialized fiction for not too demanding or cloistered readers.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1963
Publisher: Putnam