Savage Liberty (Hardcover)

A Mystery of Revolutionary America

By Eliot Pattison

Counterpoint LLC, 9781619027213, 400pp.

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

The fifth entry in Eliot Pattison's Bone Rattler series follows the exiled Scotsman Duncan McCallum along a tortuous path that will lead him to the American Revolution

When a ship arriving from London explodes in Boston Harbor, both the peace of the colonial city and Duncan McCallum's life are shattered. Summoned by his new friend John Hancock to a beach awash with the bodies of the victims, Duncan discovers that the ship was deliberately sabotaged, apparently to cover the theft by French agents provocateurs of a secret document being carried to the Sons of Liberty. Hancock refuses to let him take his evidence to the authorities, for this is 1768 and relations with the government are so sour that officials are being hanged in effigy.

Fearing that the intrigues of Hancock and the Sons might set the colonies ablaze, Duncan relentlessly pursues the truth, only to be falsely charged with treason and murder. To escape the hangman's noose and restore his honor, Duncan has no choice but to follow a northbound trail of violence and deception while being relentlessly hounded by bountymen and vengeful soldiers. With the help of unexpected new friends, including Ethan Allen, aged natives, and outlawed Jesuits, he survives scalp hunters, imprisonment, and his own spiritual crisis, only to realize he cannot resolve the terrible crimes until he first understands the emerging truths about freedom in the American colonies.


About the Author

ELIOT PATTISON is the author of The Skull Mantra, winner of an Edgar Award and finalist for the Gold Dagger, Water Touching Stone, Bone Mountain, Beautiful Ghosts, Prayer of the Dragon, Bone Rattler, The Lord of Death, Eye of the Raven and most recently Original Death. Pattison resides in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, two horses, and two dogs on a colonial-era farm.


Praise For Savage Liberty: A Mystery of Revolutionary America

Praise for Savage Liberty

“Pattison has few peers when it comes to integrating historical events into a complex but plausible whodunit plot." —Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

"For those who enjoy politics, history, and hairbreadth escapes swirled together." —Library Journal

"This fifth entry in Pattison’s Bone Rattler series advances McCallum’s personal life as it exhibits the seamless blend of fiction and history that distinguishes this fine series. A timely reminder, as well, of what liberty meant to our forebears." —Booklist

Praise for Bone Rattler

"The Last of the Mohicans meets Braveheart, with a curious dash of CSI." —Entertainment Weekly

"Pattison's moving characters, intricate plot and masterful evocation of the time, including sensitive depictions of the effects of the European war on Native Americans, set this leagues beyond most historicals and augur well for future entries in this series."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[A] sure winner." —Booklist

"Having already won an Edgar for his Inspector Shan series (The Skull Mantra, etc.), Pattison makes a strong bid for another with this outstanding mystery set in colonial America. Scottish prisoner Duncan McCallum, indentured to the Ramsey Company, is troubled by a series of mysterious deaths on the ship carrying him to the New World. When McCallum's close friend Adam Munroe and a professor who was to work as a tutor are added to the list of the dead, McCallum, who has extensive medical training, is enlisted by the captain to investigate. The shipboard mysteries remain unresolved when they arrive in New York, and McCallum's quest for the truth leads him to perilous encounters on both sides of the French and Indian War. Pattison's moving characters, intricate plot and masterful evocation of the time, including sensitive depictions of the effects of the European war on Native Americans, set this leagues beyond most historicals and augur well for future entries in this series." —Publishers Weekly

"Dark, complex and compelling in mystery, historical, and spiritual considerations. " —Eileen Charbonneau, Historical Novels Review

Praise for Eye of the Raven

"Few writers can combine history and mystery as well as Edgar-winner Pattison… Evocative language, tight plotting, and memorable characters make this a standout." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The pleasures of Eliot Pattison's books, and Eye of the Raven is another smashing example, are threefold: high adventure in perilous landscapes, a hero stubbornly seeking the truth, and the haunting mysteries of ancient cultures." —Otto Penzler, editor of The Vampire Archives

"Throughout the novel Pattison superbly builds tension and explores a period of shifting and uncertain alliances and loyalties. A thoroughly gripping read." —Margaret Barr, Historical Novel Society

"Pattison, acclaimed for previous novels such as the excellent The Skull Mantra and Bone Rattler, reveals the complex negotiations between the well-known British and French governments but also the Iroquois tribes regarding the land and resources in the Pennsylvania region. He wisely chooses not to create caricatures of any nationality, but instead shows the difficulties the wise leaders of each group have in maneuvering through the greed and baser instincts found everywhere." —Bonnye Busbice Good, New Mystery Reader

Praise for Original Death

"If this were a movie, we'd marvel at the set decoration that splendidly evokes the period. The excellent prose narrative goes right to the matter in question, the state of the (pre-Colonial) human heart." —Chicago Tribune

"Original Death sweeps the reader along on a compelling and suspenseful hero's journey in which the realms of the spirit world of the Iroquois mingle with the harsh world of the colonial era frontier and the military ambitions of the French and English colonial powers. Pattison's riveting storytelling and intriguing plot kept me entranced from the first page. His understanding of the complexities of the era and the frontier make his portrayal of Duncan's and Conawago's quest a multi-layered and complex read, one to savor. It fascinates and comes very highly recommended." —Historical Novel Society

"Edgar-winner Pattison combines action, period details, and a whodunit with ease in his impressive third mystery set in Colonial America. The French and Indian War is in its sixth year in 1760, and the American wilderness is full of armed men lusting to soak the land in blood for the sake of distant kings… The quest gets off to an ominous start with McCallum's discovery of a dead soldier tied to a wheel at the bottom of a lake. As the bodies pile up, Pattison pays tribute to the conventions of the murder mystery without sacrificing excitement or a nuanced look at the final stage of the war between the British and the French for control of North America." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Pattison twists a skein of plotlines and weaves Indian mysticism into a time-capsule portrait of America at a crossroads: a time of endings for some and the beginning of a revolution played out by cruel, compelling, and sometimes powerful people with warring visions. Themes of disillusionment and a vanishing way of life make this series in some ways similar to Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, though Pattison adds an element of psychological suspense comparable to Jean Zimmerman's The Orphanmaster (2012) and a degree of human complexity that suggests Sarah Donati's Wilderness novels." —Booklist (starred review)

"This is the kind of historical fiction that makes for breathtaking reading. Pattison has done an admirable job of researching a little known incident in the history of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania where the Moravians had several missions and transferred that story to upstate New York. In doing so he turned that historical incident into both a thrilling entertainment and a modern day look at the intolerance and brutality of the military. One cannot help but draw parallels to the violence of US military perpetrated against Islamic civilians whether aggressive and intentional or accidental victims of 'friendly fire' in Afghanistan and Iraq." —Pretty Sinister Books

"As strong as the plot is, it is the elegantly crafted prose, almost lyrical in the way it weaves the story, that will draw readers in. Original Death is exciting and suspenseful, often mystical and frequently cruel and violent, but always true to the characters. One of the best books of the year." —Mysterious Reviews

Praise for Blood of the Oak

"In 1765, the French and Indian War is over, but the American colonies are not at peace, as shown in Edgar-winner Pattison's superior fourth mystery featuring Scottish ex-pat Duncan McCallum (after 2013's Original Death)… Pattison does a brilliant job of showing how political events at this time paved the way for the start of the Revolutionary War." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The fourth in Pattison's Bone Rattler series combines well-drawn fictional and historical personages in a vivid portrayal of a pivotal year in American history. Historical mystery as its best." —Booklist (starred review)

"The fourth entry in the Bone Rattler series, this stand-alone novel is fast-paced with loads of action and suspense. Duncan McCallum and the supporting cast are well-formed and credible for the time period, and they provide an excellent backdrop to this exciting era of American history. Well-researched, the novel presents aspects of the early colonial experience that are little discussed outside the Northeast. I highly recommend this novel and look forward to future books from this author." —Historical Novel Society

"The fourth installment in Pattison's Bone Rattler series is another complexly plotted historical mystery written in a baroque style highly suggestive of the period and unblinking in its portrayal of American history's dark lessons." —Kirkus Reviews

"Eliot Pattison's novels have a way of waking the reader up to the grim realities of what really went on during Colonial American times, both the heroic and the barbaric… [This] is another masterpiece of America historic fiction and a really bone-rattling mystery thriller." —Mystery Maven