cover image Savage Liberty: A Mystery of Revolutionary America

Savage Liberty: A Mystery of Revolutionary America

Eliot Pattison. Counterpoint, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-1-61902-721-3

Set in 1768, Edgar-winner Pattison's excellent fifth mystery featuring Duncan McCallum (after 2016's Blood of the Oak) finds Duncan, an exiled survivor of a slaughtered Scottish clan, in Boston, where tensions are growing between the Sons of Liberty and British officials over the increasing economic pressures on the colonials. Patriot Samuel Adams asks Duncan to use his medical training to determine what killed Jonathan Pine, a Native American Christian convert. The victim was aboard a British ship that exploded in Boston Harbor, but Adams has reason to suspect that Pine's death was different from those of the nearly 40 others who died in the blast. Soon after determining that Pine was tortured and fatally stabbed, Duncan learns that the explosion was an act of sabotage connected with a list that prominent Bostonian John Hancock began compiling of men with military experience whom he expects would "not shirk the call of liberty." Duncan's search for the list, and the truth behind the incident, is complicated when he's accused of blowing up the vessel and must flee for his life. Pattison has few peers when it comes to integrating historical events into a complex but plausible whodunit plot. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary Agency. (May)