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Blood of the Oak

A Mystery of Revolutionary America

List Price: $15.95

March 14, 2017 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 304 Pages | ISBN 9781619029071
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“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 entry in the Bone Rattler series advances the protagonist Duncan McCallum to 1765 and into the throes of the Stamp Tax dissent, which marked the beginning of organized resistance to English rule. Duncan follows ritualistic murders that are strangely connected to both the theft of an Iroquois artifact and a series of murders and kidnappings in the network of secret runners supporting the nascent committees of correspondence—which are engaged in the first organized political dissent across colonial borders. He encounters a powerful conspiracy of highly placed English aristocrats who are bent on crushing all dissent, is captured by its agents, and sent into slavery in Virginia beside the kidnapped runners. Inspired by an aged native American slave and new African friends Duncan decides not just to escape but to turn their own intrigue against the London lords.

Included in the novel’s cast of characters are figures from our history who have their own destinies to fulfill in the next decade, including Benjamin Franklin (writing from London), Samuel Adams, the early Pennsylvania rebel James Smith, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and, very briefly, a soft spoken militia officer named Washington. Blood of the Oak takes a fresh view on the birth of the new American nation, suggesting that the “freedom” that became the centerpiece of the Revolution was uniquely American, rising not just from unprecedented political discourse but also from the extraordinary bond with the natural world experienced by frontier settlers and native tribes.

ELIOT PATTISON is the author of The Skull Mantra, winner of an Edgar Award and finalist for the Gold Dagger, Water Touching StoneBone MountainBeautiful GhostsPrayer of the DragonBone RattlerThe Lord of DeathEye 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

“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

“Pattison’s deep strength is in his gift of in-life autopsy of the human mind and soul. He lines up, chapter upon chapter, the forces that Duncan must face in a new way — or lose himself in the process. So, this one’s a little less of a clue-based mystery, but instead a powerful book of transition: for Duncan, from naive to knowing; for his friends, from tribal loyalty to spiritual search; and for the settlers and their gatherings, from ruled colonies to something that dares to whisper: Independence. There must be a sequel already in the works; I’m looking forward to watching Pattison carry this striking and passionate narrative into the explosions that will forge the American Revolution — and Duncan McCallum’s fate.” —Kingdom Books

Blood of the Oak makes an excellent conclusion to an intriguing, thought provoking, action-packed, and very violent series.” —Bookloons

“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

“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 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

“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

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