THE HIGH CONSTABLE by Maan Meyers

THE HIGH CONSTABLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It's only 33 years after the last episode in Meyers's Dutch-Jewish Tonneman family chronicles (The Kingsbridge Plot, 1993), and many of the dramatis personae from 1775 are still hanging around, or ready to leap out of unquiet graves. Shortly after John Tonneman's rebellious son Peter quarrels with Joseph Thaddeus Brown -- his boss and John's partner in the Collect Project to provide the city of New-York with a freshwater pond -- Brown disappears with $50,000 in Collect funds; the only thing that stops High Constable Jacob Hays from arresting Peter for Brown's murder is that Peter, running away from his authoritarian father's house, has stopped just long enough to rescue the Constable's cousin Charity Boenning from a fatal coach accident. It's old John himself, looking literally more deeply into Brown's shallow grave, who, with the help of his old friend Maurice (Jamie) Jamison, recognizes the snaggletoothed skull clasped to Brown's back as that of Emma Greenaway -- murdered daughter of Jamie's wife, Grace -- and realizes that Emma may not have been murdered by counterfeiting conspirator Thomas Hickey back in 1775 after all. Reads less like a historical detective story than an overstuffed period soap opera with homicides obbligato. Though veterans of The Kingsbridge Plot will find little enough mystery here, newcomers to the Tonneman saga may find this entry incomprehensible.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1994
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Doubleday