Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eye of the Raven-Eliot Pattison

Eye of the Raven
Eliot Pattison
Counterpoint, Jan 12 2010, $26.00
ISBN: 9781582435664

In 1760 thanks mostly to his new friend Nipmuc tribal Shaman Conawago, Duncan McCallum has begun to move past the British massacre of his clan back in Scotland. Traveling together, they find the corpse of affluent Virginia militia commander Winston Burke nailed to a tree with a gear wheel buried into his chest. Because he is an Indian, local Pennsylvanian Colony authorities suspect Conawago killed Burke; who is not the first victim to die this way, as other surveyors have also been brutally killed.

The colonial authorities and the British military leaders assume someone opposed to a treaty between the Iroquois and the British is the culprit, which enhances the belief Conawago is the killer. Still they write it off as another death due to the war with the French. However Burke’s outraged cronies demand immediate justice, colonial style. They do not require a trial to hang Conawago which leaves it to McCallum to rush his investigation in order to save the life of his friend.

This is a superb Colonial American mystery due to a powerful cast who brings the era alive especially not widely known tidbits all inside a terrific whodunit. The story line grips the audience from the opening act as Duncan and the Jesuit trained Conawago come across the corpse, which by reporting it leads to trouble. Sub-genre fans will enjoy this taut thriller as time is running out before mob justice lynches Conawago .

Harriet Klausner