The hunt is on for the legendary treasure of the Alamo in this debut historical mystery.
Joe Travis, a 93-year-old World War II hero, lives quietly at home in Brewton, Ala., until one night, two professional thieves break into his house looking for a mysterious map. Joe dies to keep the map’s secret, which is somehow related to his slave ancestor—the only survivor of the Mexican Army’s attack on the Alamo in 1836. Joe’s grandson Zach, who coaches football at the local high school, is devastated by his beloved grandfather’s death, and joins forces with his estranged brother’s ex-wife Renee, a professor of American history, to track down the map and find out why Joe Travis had to die. The story whisks the reader along from Alabama to New Orleans to Texas on their quest for the lost treasure, during which they meet a cast of colorful characters and gradually discover romantic feelings for each other. History buffs and mystery lovers alike will enjoy the novel’s well-paced suspense and its flashbacks detailing the life of a slave, which provide some historical background without interrupting the narrative flow. (These flashbacks, however, provide little insight into the complex Battle of the Alamo.) Zach and Renee, with their easy rapport and compelling chemistry, make for likable, intelligent protagonists who consistently grab the reader’s attention. Conspiracies, clues and discoveries abound, but the novel’s strength lies in its small scale; ultimately, it’s the story of a family rediscovering its history and identity. Zach’s quest for treasure leads him to find something of far greater value: his and his grandfather’s ties to family and friends. The plot may be resolved a little too neatly, but it’s nevertheless a satisfying read.
A brisk, warmhearted adventure that takes readers on an exciting journey through American history.