Friday, September 4, 2015

The Constable's Tale: A Novel of Colonial America by Donald Smith

The Constable is a young man, not long married, who has only dealt with simple cases, like drunks.  Now he's faced with a dead family:  mother, father and son.  The baby is still alive, which is a wonder.  The only clue is a Freemason badge and a map under the crib.  The town believes it was an attack by Indians.  There is only one old Indian in the area.  So they nab him and jail him and would lynch him if they could.  Harry doesn't think he's done it, so he heads off to follow the Freemason badge and try to find out who owned it.

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

This is not just a murder mystery.  It's the story of a country at war, spies, double-crossers, liars and Harry's old girlfriend.  He even encounters a beautiful woman who manages to seduce him even though he's married.  He'll be even more scandalized later in the story when he finds she's not what seems either.

Harry learns the moneyed people he was jealous of in town aren't; most have squandered all their wealth and only have debt now.  He learns how easy it is to break your vows.  He also discovers that knowing the truth doesn't mean you have to use it for your benefit.

Harry lives in desperate times with desperate people and as his journey keeps taking him further from home, it makes him more susceptible to trouble.  His father went to war and never returned.  He raised by that old Indian and an Uncle.  He's different from most people because of that.  He struggles to do the right thing but as things get grayer and grayer, it's hard to tell just what the right thing is.

Harry's moral road is bumpy and full of ruts.  He has to make decisions he hope he won't live to regret.  But he has a wife and a home and a new baby on the way.  Harry'll survive.

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