Counterpoint, Dec 2007, $26.00
While the Seven Year War between England and France is fought on several continents, Scottish prisoner Duncan McCallum is on the prison ship heading to the New World. On the voyage many die including his friend Adam Munroe. The ship’s captain assigns Duncan to investigate as he has a medical background, but by the time the vessel docks in New York he fails to uncover the reason why so many died.
In New York, McCallum continues his inquiries in spite of pressure to hold another prisoner culpable. However, as he concludes that the deaths are tied to the French and Indian War North American segment of the bigger hostility, he also learns that he has been indentured to Lord Ramsey to work off his prison debt. However, what he realizes is that he and the other prisoners are fodder for the war in which different groups want to control New York’s Heart of Darkness where a massacre once occurred.
Edgar winner (see Inspector Shan novels) Eliot Pattison writes a great French and Indian War whodunit that grips the audience from the opening sequence and never lets go until the final confrontation. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action yet enables the audience to believe they are sailing the Atlantic and later thrust into a war zone. The cast is solid especially the hero who knows how far he has fallen from being the Laird of a failing Scottish clan to an indentured expendable servant. Mr. Pattison provides a winning Colonial Era mystery.