As the fate of the American Revolution hangs in the balance, a dangerous intercontinental mission is launched.
By 1769, Scottish exile Duncan McCallum (Blood of the Oak, 2018, etc.) has become an increasingly important player in the Colonial struggle for liberty. He's gone to the wilderness of Kentucky at the behest of Benjamin Franklin, who sent him a letter asking him to dig up some valuable relics and bring them to him in London. How can Duncan refuse? When Duncan’s friend Ezra dies in the midst of the excavation, it can’t immediately be determined whether his death was an accidental drowning or a murder. Daniel Boone, who’s among the company, insists that Ezra was attacked, a foreshadowing of the danger (and the historical cameos) Duncan will encounter on his mission. Duncan’s friend Chief Catchoka reports that several members of his family have also been killed. Duncan encounters many obstacles on his odyssey to the eastern coast, but a bright light is cast by his brief reunion with his beloved, Sarah Ramsey. Patriot Charles Thomson at first agrees to help with Duncan’s passage to London but loses his resolve when evidence emerges of a much larger conspiracy against Duncan’s mission. In fact, everyone who helps him seems to become the target of ruthless killers. On the eve of his departure, Duncan awakens to find one of his closest allies and confidants dead beside him. The imprisonment of his best friend, Conawago, at Bedlam asylum in London enrages Duncan and spurs him to complete his mission as Franklin himself takes center stage in assisting his new friend.
Pattison’s sixth Revolutionary mystery has a strong period feel and abundant historical detail.