FICTION

Blood of the Oak

Counterpoint. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781619026155. $26. M
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Duncan McCallum, a displaced Jacobite from Scotland and part-time healer, lands in another tension-filled morass of bizarre murders, kidnappings, stolen artifacts, and cryptic codes. By 1765 the seeds of the upcoming American Rebellion are beginning to sprout. The Stamp Tax dissent is gaining momentum, and the fallout from the recent French and Indian Wars fuels a palpable anxiety throughout the colonies and the neighboring Native American tribes. All the while, British troops and ships are becoming more prevalent and the English presence feels more like an occupation. Something has to give.
VERDICT Pattison's fourth installment of his "Bone Rattler" series (after Original Death) features Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Samuel Adams, and a young Benjamin Rush making cameo appearances. The detailed handling of the times is accurate; however, often the pace slows to a slog and some of the characters feel a bit pedestrian.

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