7 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
J. W. G. reviewed Bold Sons of Erin (Abel Jones, Bk 5) on
Helpful Score: 2
I've greatly enjoyed the entire Abel Jones series. The most recent novel was published in 2005, and since then, Ralph Peters (for whom Owen Parry is a pseudonym) has produced books in his other publication streams - political analysis, present-day thriller novels - but no more Abel Jones books have appeared. I sincerely hope this series isn't finished. No other series has had a protagonist like Major Jones: Genuinely good, honest to a fault, tough, loving, an odd-looking fellow with a wife who adores him, a superb soldier, a dogged searcher despite antagonists who might temporarily fool him, a teetotaler Methodist with a mind large enough to entertain the idea that other beliefs might have something to recommend them, a middle-aged Welsh-American with a surprising back-story that we get in bits, a man of peace able to turn expertly deadly when he must. Abel makes odd friends and sometimes fascinating enemies. In this genre, many authors fall into a groove and tell the same story novel after novel - but each of Parry's Abel Jones stories is very different from the others. Add to this a rich and detailed rendering of Civil-War times given in Abel Jones' engaging first-person narrative voice and it's clear why I don't want the series to end.
Grave robbing and witches provide the atmospheric overture as Maj. Abel Jones, agent for Abraham Lincoln, investigates the murder of a Northern general in his fifth suspenseful adventure. In the preceding novel, Honor's Kingdom, the diminutive Welshman was in England working for the Union's interests, but here he returns home to "dear Pottsville" in Pennsylvania. Jones must journey deeper into coal country when Gen. Carl Stone, who had been recruiting Irish miners for the Union army, is found slain. The confessed killer has died of cholera, but a cautionary check of his grave finds interred instead the body of a young woman who has been stabbed to death. The intrigue thus triggered brings Jones up against a mad priest, local witch women and the tight-knit society of the Irish mining community (among its members is Black Jack Kehoe, later notorious in the Molly Maguires). Complicating the investigation are clues pointing to Russia and schemes for world revolution from the prewar years when the general went by the name of Carl von Steinbrock. Inevitably the investigation returns to the Irish immigrants, "Those famine lads cut loose to find their keep, in a world that did not want them or their kind."
A Civil War general has been murdered and a man is dispatched from President Lincoln to investigate. Major Jones must find out if the man accused of killing the general really died from cholera, or is still alive, since a young girl's body has been found in the killer's grave. This mystery is set in the time of the beginning of the big immigrations from Ireland, expansion of the railroads, and big mines employing most of the townspeople against the backdrop of the Civil War. It is full of wonderfully drawn characters with good traits and flaws.
A Union general is murdered while recuiting Irish immigrants and his confessed killer "dies" before he can be questioned. In defiance of the local priest a stubbon investigator opens his grave only to find the body of a young woman many weeks dead. This is a GOOD book.