The Ironclad Alibi
Disaffected Virginian Harrison Raines returns to the fray as a Union spy in Michael Kilian’s latest novel featuring the energetic Raines operating in the center of some of the Civil War’s most important events. Raines is once again sent behind Confederate lines on a vital mission – this one is to find as much information as possible on a Rebel ironclad warship. He and his trusted freed slave assistant, Caesar Augustus, find their mission complicated by a murder. When Raines is accused of the crime, our heroes must use all of their considerable skills to avoid the gallows while simultaneously completing their task. Harrison Raines is a likeable character, and Kilian’s artful description of Washington, D.C. and Virginia in 1862 fleshes out the fictional characters with the reality of life in mid-nineteenth century America. The prose is solid, and the plot has enough twists and turns to satisfy most critical readers. While not as fast-paced as Murder At Manassas or A Killing At Ball’s Bluff, Harrison Raines’ latest adventure still is a satisfactory diversion.