HARPER'S RESCUE

A NOVEL OF REDEMPTION IN THE CIVIL WAR

From the Shiloh Trilogy series , Vol. 2

A gritty if not completely realistic installment in a Civil War trilogy.

Lt. James Harper returns in this new edition of the second book in Gabhann’s trilogy of historical novels set during the American Civil War.

Paducah, Kentucky, 1862. When an entire Union company is wiped out while camped 15 minutes outside of town, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s intelligence officers suspect there is a spy at work in the small city occupied by soldiers in blue. Only a week back from a short stint in Confederate prison, Lt. Harper of the 1st Iowa Volunteer Mounted Infantry takes it upon himself to figure out that the spy is Franklin Bosley, Paducah’s wealthy restaurateur and brothel owner. He soon meets Maggie Warren, a war widow and prostitute in Bosley’s employ, to whom he develops a quick and potentially dangerous attachment. Meanwhile, Katie Malloy volunteers in a hospital when not doing sex work, and hopes to one day get away from Bosley, to whom she owes a great deal of money. Katie’s mother visits her daughter in recurring dreams and tells her a soldier will come along and save her from her plight. Nineteen-year-old Corp. Gustav Magnusson, who previously thought Harper to be a reckless careerist, has come to trust his commanding officer following their time as Confederate prisoners. As Harper investigates the spy ring at Grant’s request, he and Magnusson become involved in a web of intrigue of both personal and military importance. Gabhann’s prose is suitably textured for his task, combing the grit and blood of war fiction with the stilted manners of the time period. Harper feels self-conscious about the state of his uniform at a party with officers and prostitutes: “Under the scrutiny of the major and his escort, Harper resisted the instinct to brush at his uniform. Nothing he could do now would remove the blood stains and the powder burns.” The first novel in the Shiloh trilogy, Harper’s Donelson (2020), was already fairly prostitute-heavy for a Civil War novel, and this volume’s plot sometimes feels as though it was contrived purely to up the prostitution content. Fans of espionage novels may enjoy its sudden diversion into the world of spycraft, but those looking for epic battles will be disappointed.

A gritty if not completely realistic installment in a Civil War trilogy.

Pub Date: March 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-7343974-2-0

Page Count: 398

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2020

THE LITTLE LIAR

A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Truth and deception clash in this tale of the Holocaust.

Udo Graf is proud that the Wolf has assigned him the task of expelling all 50,000 Jews from Salonika, Greece. In that city, Nico Krispis is an 11-year-old Jewish boy whose blue eyes and blond hair deceive, but whose words do not. Those who know him know he has never told a lie in his life—“Never be the one to tell lies, Nico,” his grandfather teaches him. “God is always watching.” Udo and Nico meet, and Udo decides to exploit the child’s innocence. At the train station where Jews are being jammed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, Udo gives Nico a yellow star to wear and persuades him to whisper among the crowd, “I heard it from a German officer. They are sending us to Poland. We will have new homes. And jobs.” The lad doesn’t know any better, so he helps persuade reluctant Jews to board the train to hell. “You were a good little liar,” Udo later tells Nico, and delights in the prospect of breaking the boy’s spirit, which is more fun and a greater challenge than killing him outright. When Nico realizes the horrific nature of what he's done, his truth-telling days are over. He becomes an inveterate liar about everything. Narrating the story is the Angel of Truth, whom according to a parable God had cast out of heaven and onto earth, where Truth shattered into billions of pieces, each to lodge in a human heart. (Obviously, many hearts have been missed.) Truth skillfully weaves together the characters, including Nico; his brother, Sebastian; Sebastian’s wife, Fannie; and the “heartless deceiver” Udo. Events extend for decades beyond World War II, until everyone’s lives finally collide in dramatic fashion. As Truth readily acknowledges, his account is loaded with twists and turns, some fortuitous and others not. Will Nico Krispis ever seek redemption? And will he find it? Author Albom’s passion shows through on every page in this well-crafted novel.

A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2023

ISBN: 9780062406651

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023

THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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