Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faded Coat of Blue

"Faded Coat of Blue" (338 pages) by Owen Parry, a pseudonym used by Ralph Peters, is another book I recently swiped from my mother. From Goodreads:

"A recent immigrant to this land — where American has taken up arms against American — Abel Jones finds himself mysteriously chosen as confidential agent to General George McClellan, the 'savior of the Union.' No stranger to the cruel paradoxes of war, Jones is asked to investigate the death of Anthony Fowler, a young volunteer captain shot through the heart outside an encampment of raw recruits. Fowler was one of the North's 'golden youth,' envied and idolized, an impassioned abolitionist and sole son of a powerful merchant dynasty. Instantly, his murder is blamed on the Confederates — but whispers haunt the death of this fallen martyr, leading Abel Jones from the blood of the battlefield through the intrigues of Washington, D.C., and into a web of secrets and sinister relationships where evil and good intertwine...and where heroes fall prey to those who cherished them the most."

"Faded Coat of Blue" is a novel I found myself liking more than I thought I would initially. At its core it's basically just a mystery that takes place at the beginning of the American Civil War. Abel Jones, a somewhat self-righteous and pious man, journeys between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia to unravel the unusual circumstances of Anthony Fowler's death. Jones' hunt for clues was rather interesting and usually kept me guessing all the way toward the end of the story. Even more interesting was just reading about the day to day lives of the people in and around Washington in the early 1960's, be it military officers or just regular people sprinkled throughout the tale.

Recommended for fans of mysteries or perhaps Civil War buffs. The language of the book is a little different as it's written in the style of the period, but it's nothing too detrimental to the overall enjoyment of the book. Apparently "Faded Coat of Blue" is the first in a series of books featuring Abel Jones. I'll definitely check out other installments of his adventures if the opportunity presents itself.

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