RELEASING OCTOBER 14th!
Lieutenant Michael Stoddard is a redcoat, which isn’t always a popular thing in 1781. His superior takes him off a murder investigation to carry a dispatch to Lord Cornwallis. A risky job, but Michael is up for the challenge. When he finally arrives in town to hand the dispatch to a trustworthy courier, he is shocked to find his contact dead. He is even more shocked to be given no choice but to investigate this murder … or suffer serious consequences. When the clues lead him further into the past, and long-hidden secrets come to light, Michael realizes that he has an opportunity to redeem himself and fulfill his ultimate goal, in only he can play his cards right….
A new release by Suzanne Adair, this historical fiction book includes additional background and information at the end. Obviously well-researched, this book was rich with historical detail in an time period I knew little about. Michael is an honorable character, but he’s harboring some secrets of his own. Driven by a desire to see justice done, no matter what guise it must take, he is both sympathetic and interesting. His assistant, Spry, was not quite as fully developed, but he played a good supporting role. Kate, Michael’s romantic interest, and her aunt, Rachel, were both strong women who had more than one surprise up their dainty sleeves. I loved the strength of these two women, as well as the vulnerability we see in each before the story ends. Bowater, Fairfax, Schmidt, and O’Toole play their parts well as I found myself feeling disgust for their characters while feeling empathy for others. Of all the characters, I think my favorites were Janet and Noah. Although not major players, we get to know them (and their “flaws”) well, and they turned out to have integral roles in this story. I really found myself rooting for them, and this story wouldn’t have been as rich without them.
The story was immediately engaging as we find Michael investigating a gruesome murder. The plot was filled with surprises and intriguing connections. Some of the connections felt quite serendipitous, while others seemed more calculated. The result was a tightly woven storyline that rang true and felt complete. The language used is reader-friendly while still being filled with appropriate phrasing for the time period. Realistic details of the challenges and protocol of the time made a great backdrop to the story. I felt the backstory between Michael and Fairfax was helpful, but not as complete as I would have liked. I think I needed one more dot to complete the full connection. I also wanted some additional meat to the relationship between Michael and Spry. In general, the ending left me feeling satisfied and a bit hungry for more. The romance in the story added a softer side to this dirty business, but it was perfectly played and didn’t overtake the mystery and suspense that was the meat of the plot. I found I wanted a little more history on the relationship between Michael and Kate to help me understand how they may have gotten to the point where we initially found them- or maybe we could have seen that this adventure actually marked the beginning of any real communication between them.
Once again, Suzanne Adair proves herself to be an author to watch. I am excited to see what historical adventure she has up her sleeve next, and I wouldn’t be disappointed to see some of these characters again. Overall, I found I wanted a bit more in this story in terms of some of the relationships, but the story itself is well written and I was certainly satisfied. I would definitely recommended this to fans of historical fiction!
4.5 / 5 stars
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