B. Kent Anderson
Forge, 2011 (2011)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
. Kent Anderson's
opens on a private meeting between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee just before the official Appomattox Court House, Virginia ratification of Lee's terms of suurender that ended the American Civil War. The author inserts a mysterious third party into that encounter and a surprising agenda that results in the signing of a short document. What happened to it?
ast forward to the present day and the discovery of a huge cache of Civil War weapons at the Fort Washita Historical Site in southern Oklahoma. The artifacts (including papers found in a metal strongbox) are turned over to Nick Journey, a local history professor and the single parent of autistic twelve-year-old Andrew. Readers quickly learn that
(led by the powerfully connected
, a media tycoon) are extremely interested in the find. The organization has maintained its carefully selected membership since the end of the Civil War and has tendrils into high levels of US government and military. Its long-laid plans will go into action once the Judge acquires the papers he believes will give his cause legitimacy.
try to take the papers from Nick Journey, a young campus security officer is killed. Nick leaves Andrew with his ex-wife and begins his own search for the remaining papers, seeing it as the only way to keep himself and his son safe. In the meantime, we meet RIO (the US government's Research and Investigations Office) agent/concert pianist Meg Tolman, who becomes interested in the case. And key high officials begin to die. Will Nick and Meg be able to survive long enough to convince authorities of the truth before a new civil war ignites?
nderson builds on his unusual premise and takes readers on quite a thrill ride, with close calls and betrayals en route (he even pulls in that American icon Mark Twain) before he ties it all up where it began, at Fort Washita. I recommend
to conspiracy theorists and thriller fans alike.
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