MYSTERY

Savage Liberty: A Mystery of Revolutionary America

Counterpoint. May 2018. 224p. ISBN 9781619027213. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781619027374. M
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The fifth installment of the "Bone Rattler" series (after Blood of the Oak) finds its hero Duncan McCallum hoping for release from his indenture and for commitment to his beloved Sarah. Alas, trouble follows the scrappy Scot like a shadow. First, a merchant ship explodes in Boston Harbor, killing most aboard. A sadistic British officer quickly arrives, seeking a mysterious ledger and blaming McCallum for its theft. Our man hustles out of town with friends and fiancée, but a rogue Abenaki warrior now stalks them, taking gruesome revenge here and there. A missing but legendary frontiersman and a cache of French gold also drive the chase and more killings. Add in some disaffected Jesuits, two French spies, and a conniving John Hancock, and here is a pell-mell story as twisty as a 1950s Cold War novel, except set in supposedly tranquil 1768 New England.
VERDICT A bit overstuffed with characters and multiple story lines, this historical thriller is still worth the roller-coaster ride, for those who enjoy politics, history, and hairbreadth escapes swirled together.

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