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Blood of the Oak

Cover of Blood of the Oak

Blood of the Oak

A Mystery

The fourth entry in the Bone Rattler series moves ever closer to the beginning of the American Revolution and 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. As the story unfolds, Duncan is drawn into the mystery of ritualistic murders that are strangely connected to both the theft of an Iroquois artifact and an additional series of murders and kidnappings connecting to the network of secret runners supporting the nascent committees of correspondence—which are engaged in the first organized political dissent across colonial borders. In following the trail he encounters a powerful conspiracy of highly placed English aristocrats who are bent on crushing all dissent. Duncan 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. The 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.

The fourth entry in the Bone Rattler series moves ever closer to the beginning of the American Revolution and 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. As the story unfolds, Duncan is drawn into the mystery of ritualistic murders that are strangely connected to both the theft of an Iroquois artifact and an additional series of murders and kidnappings connecting to the network of secret runners supporting the nascent committees of correspondence—which are engaged in the first organized political dissent across colonial borders. In following the trail he encounters a powerful conspiracy of highly placed English aristocrats who are bent on crushing all dissent. Duncan 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. The 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.

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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 recentlyOriginal Death. Pattison resides in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, two horses, and two dogs on a colonial-era farm.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 11, 2016
    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). The Native Americans who inhabit the forests of New York have dubbed McCallum the Death Speaker for his ability to use his medical training to determine how people died. That skill is all too useful when Red Jacob, an Oneida who served with English frontier rangers, is murdered by someone who almost claimed the life of his superior, Duncan’s friend, Capt. Patrick Woolford. Theirs is not the last blood shed. Duncan soon finds himself on the trail of ruthless killers who are targeting messengers working for some secret committees in different cities, whose leaders include Benjamin Franklin. Pattison does a brilliant job of showing how political events at this time paved the way for the start of the Revolutionary War. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

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A Mystery
Eliot Pattison
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