Jack Rowe, Author Franklin Watts $0 (372p) ISBN 978-0-531-15002-3
This historical novel is the second in Rowe's projected trilogy focusing on the duPont munitions empire. Actions begins in the 1840s with Henry duPont plotting against his brother for control of the gunpowder works. Michael Farrell, a Trinity-educated Irish immigrant, inadvertently runs afoul of duPont in a tavern fight, and over the next two decades their paths continue to cross. The unscrupulous duPont expands his empire by every possible means, while Farrell, a friend of duPont's nephew Lammot and an avid chemist, finds his career tied to the munitions giant. When Farrell marries the niece of one of duPont's powdermen, his personal life too begins falling under duPont's mantle. There is a vast panorama here, of person, place and event. We follow Farrell into action in the Mexican War, through an Anglo-French blockade in the Crimea, and during his Civil War service as a Union spy. Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and Zachary Taylor make appearances, as do abolitionists, arsonists, Irish priests and scheming wives. Though this blend of fact and fiction is well researched, so much is covered that little justice is done to any of it. Rowe's straightforward plot and lucid writing keep confusion to a minimum, but this novel would be improved by more depth in a smaller surface. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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