The Shiloh Sisters

Written by Michael Kilian
Review by Cindy Vallar

One evening in 1862, the wife of an influential congressman visits General Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters. She fears for her sister, the wife of a Confederate officer, and requests a pass to cross into enemy territory. Against his better judgment, Grant agrees. When the Confederate Army attacks the next day, the general must deal with more important matters than his concern for the woman’s safety. After the bloody Battle of Shiloh, both women are found murdered and embalmed on the Union side of the line.

Having been sent west to thwart Confederate plans, Harrison Raines finds himself under suspicion of being an enemy spy. When Grant learns that Raines is actually a U.S. Secret Service agent, the general enlists Raines’ help to discover the murderer’s identity. The answer lies in Corinth, Mississippi, a town held by the Confederate Army and teeming with soldiers, gamblers, prisoners, and spies who want Raines dead.

The fifth title in the Harrison Raines Civil War Mystery series, Shiloh Sisters provides an intimate and brutal look at war and evil. Kilian’s depiction of the Battle of Shiloh sets the stage for a curious puzzle that seems to have more twists and turns than a serpent. The inclusion of Louise Devereux, a returning character whose life is irretrievably entwined with Raines, keeps the reader guessing from beginning to end of a mystery deftly told.