Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Michael Kilian

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7278-6272-3
Publisher: Severn House

A Pinkerton agent meets General Lee’s army and barely escapes with his life.

In his sixth Civil War adventure (The Shiloh Sister, 2004, etc.), Harrison Raines plans to return to his family farm in Virginia to live out his days. It’s only mid-1862, but Harry’s had enough of both the war and Allan Pinkerton’s detective agency. He’s on his way to resign, along with longtime Meti Indian pal Jack Tantou and beautiful but fragile actress Louise Devereux, with whom he hopes to settle down. After a dicey stint as a double agent, Louise is recovering from wounds suffered in the crossfire of a Mississippi battle. But thoughts of domestic bliss are crushed when Harry and company happen upon the body of peace-loving Presbyterian Horace Ashby swinging from a tree. Shameless rumors attend the horrific death and sadden Harry, who can’t believe his friend was a Confederate sympathizer, let alone a criminal. Pinkerton, however, has no intention of losing one of his best agents. Engineering Louise’s arrest, he uses her plight as leverage to extend Harry’s unhappy tenure. Disturbingly, Harry learns that there may be some truth to the gossip about Ashby and gets an undesirable front-row seat for the bloody battle of Antietam. There’ll also be more distressed damsels and a climactic appearance by Abraham Lincoln.

Like its series forerunners, Harry’s adventure provides abundant historical detail and myriad plot twists in lieu of any considerable mystery.