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Original Death Book Review

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Title: Original Death
Author: Eliot Pattison
Published: 2013, Counterpoint Press
No. of Pages: 358
Cover Price: $26.00 US



Duncan McCallum is traveling with his elderly Indian friend, Conawago, to visit with the last two surviving members of his tribe, in Original Death, the third book of the Bone Rattler series by Eliot Pattison. Traveling in early colonial America presented many dangerous situations, and Duncan and Conawago experience several on the way to meet Conawago’s relatives at Bethel Church, a small Christian community. Unfortunately, when they arrive, they find that Conawago’s nephew, Hickory John, has been murdered along with several innocents in the small village, and Ishmael, his nephew’s grandson, is missing with several school children. After this discovery, Duncan and Conawago begin a quest to find the murderer of the innocent people, and also find the missing children of Bethel Church.

Because of the time period, and the situations that Duncan and Conawago find themselves in, the story is suspenseful throughout. Not only is it dangerous to travel due to the time period, but the European war on Native Americans is in full swing, and the fact that Duncan is Scottish and Conawago is Indian presents extra problems. There are dozens of close calls, Duncan spends time in a horrible prison with rats and smallpox, and is taken as prisoner by different European armies. Several times he barely escapes with his life. He also feels responsible for Conawago, and is constantly protecting him throughout the journey. Duncan and Conawago meet up with interesting characters along the way, and Pattison does an excellent job of bringing them to life.

Pattison’s writing is careful and deliberate, incorporating true historical facts from early colonial America into the story with his fictional characters. The story is slow moving – not meaning that in a negative way – but allowing the reader to experience the drama in the way that it would probably have been if living during that time period. Those who enjoy fast-moving, exciting modern thrillers may not appreciate this novel. However, it is obvious that careful research has gone into the writing of this book. There is fascinating information about early Indian rituals as they are carried out; those readers who enjoy early American history will no doubt be enthralled. This book is recommended for anyone who enjoys a well-written historical thriller.

Special thanks to Julia Drake of Julia Drake Public Relations for supplying a review copy of this novel.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Original Death: A Mystery of Colonial America

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