Sons of Liberty
The Sons of Liberty in this book are a (fictional) group of Maryland landowners plotting an attack on Baltimore to help the Southern cause during the U.S. Civil War. On their tail is Austrian immigrant Braden Rolfe, refugee from the 1848 rebellion in Europe, Provost Marshal and spymaster for the Union—also a fiction. And between the poles we have a beautiful Confederate widow.
I like how award-winning author Jakober focuses our minds to consider the forty-eighters’ role in American politics, although I think German-ness could have been better captured. The character of Nathan Mallaby, street urchin turned very effective spy, was delightful. The denouement is exciting and a surprise, and makes things seem right. Before that, however, a circuitous style of storytelling defused tension. I never got a real sense of threat from the Sons of Liberty, and the lovely Mrs. Farnsworth meandered too much to arouse sympathy. The different threads that come together so nicely at the end seemed purposeless—which detracted from the ultimate reward. The true spies of this war are fascinating enough that more could have been done, I feel.