faced some big problems as he tried to fortify New York City against
British forces in the summer of 1776.
His ragtag army was
woefully short on weapons and battle experience. The British were
assembling a massive expeditionary force to crush his army and snuff out
the nascent revolution.
And one more thing:
some of his own bodyguards were involved in a traitorous plot against
Conspiracy” follows the shadowy plot that played out in and around
Manhattan as Washington focused on the coming British attack. The odd
assortment of characters involved in this cloak-and-dagger tale include
a scheming gunsmith, would-be counterfeiters and some members of
Washington’s elite bodyguard detachment, called the Life Guards.
over all the machinations was Gov. William Tyron, the top British
official in New York. Rising revolutionary sentiment had forced him to
retreat to a ship in New York Harbor, but he was still able to spin his
webs of intrigue against the rebels.
It’s not a spoiler
to point out that the plot failed. Washington, of course, was just
beginning his long, historical run on the world’s stage. The only person
to lose his life after the plot was exposed was bodyguard Thomas Hickey,
who was publicly hanged for “mutiny, sedition, and treachery.”
So authors Brad
Meltzer and Josh Mensch extract what they can out of the historical
record to tell a colorful story giving the reader a sense of
Revolutionary-era Manhattan. The writing is punchy and the chapters are
short, though the authors have an annoying habit of ending every chapter
with a cliffhanger, even when they have to contrive one.
Despite the book’s
subtitle, it’s not certain whether plotters planned to assassinate
Washington or capture him. Many believed it was an assassination plot
ever since Hickey went to the gallows. In one famous story, Washington
was about to be served poisoned peas before a servant threw the plate
out the window at the last second, saving the future president but
killing some chickens outside who ate the deadly vegetables.
That story is
almost certainly apocryphal. But what was the most likely plan? Scouring
the existing evidence, the authors come up with a conclusion that seems
as good as any that can be drawn more than two centuries later. (AP)
Pierce Hunt has returned from a
six-month forced leave after a reporter is injured during a bust even
though it’s not Hunt’s fault.
On his first day back, he’s
assigned to assist the transfer of a high-profile drug cartel target
named Vicente Garcia. It’s personal for Hunt since he’s responsible for
bringing Garcia to justice at the cost of his marriage. He also fell in
love with Garcia’s daughter. When the convoy is ambushed, Hunt barely
survives. Then he learns that the people responsible are not only
attempting to take over the lucrative drug business, they have also
kidnapped Garcia’s granddaughter and a friend of hers who happens to be
The new head of the cartel could
not be more ruthless, and if it means killing the girls to have her
demands met, so be it. Hunt has to not only work with Garcia’s daughter,
the woman he tried to forget and who loathes him after his betrayal, he
also has to work against the very principles he swore to uphold.
In “Hunt Them Down,” Gervais has
crafted an intelligent and thoughtful thriller that mixes family
dynamics with explosive action. Heroes who fight impossible odds while
being likable characters are always welcome in the world of genre
fiction. The possibilities are endless in this new series, and this will
easily find an enthusiastic audience craving Hunt’s next adventures.
Authors Douglas Preston
and Lincoln Child working together are masters at crafting a story that goes
beyond a simple mystery or thriller. Their stories are multifaceted and
complex, making the reading experience a true joy. This time, in their new
novel “Verses for the Dead”, while main character Pendergast works with
agent Coldmoon, the crime has many unconventional layers to it, making it
more difficult to solve. The killer murders his victim and then removes the
heart. The organ is left at a gravestone in the cemetery with a cryptic note
next to it. The victim and the owner of the grave seemingly aren’t
connected. Pendergast soon figures out that the heart is left at gravestones
of women who committed suicide.
outside the box at all times, and goes against direct orders to prove a
hunch. He believes the women were actually murdered, and the killer known by
the moniker Brokenhearts might be responsible for their deaths in addition
to the recent victims. With his career on the line, Pendergast has a lot to
prove and quickly or the killer might strike again. What he doesn’t know is
that his new partner, Coldmoon, has strict orders to do everything in his
power to see Pendergast fail.
The unorthodox methods
agent Pendergast applies to solve the truly bizarre cases he encounters are
legendary. This almost insubordination is the primary reason why his new
boss wants him transferred out of his jurisdiction.
Readers unfamiliar with
Pendergast will find this novel a fantastic launch point. He’s a modern-day
Sherlock Holmes, and the story reads like classic literature rather than the
majority of mystery/thrillers on the market. (AP)