Shadows of Glory by Jonathan Firth

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Jonathan Firth
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A Union agent dies on a snow-swept moor above a New York lake. A man who calls himself "the Great Kildare" delights notables with seances and mesmeric trances. A strange, red-haired girl whose odd "features summed to beauty" makes uncanny prophecies while clutching a terrible secret. Immigrants are torn between support for Lincoln's war and sullen hatred. And an officer with a limp appears at a burial ....

Abel Jones, the quiet hero of Owen Parry's acclaimed debut novel, Faded Coat of Blue, thrilled readers with his revelations of Civil War America in prose jeweled with historical detail and singing with the lilt of a Welsh immigrant's tongue. Now the Lincoln government has dispatched Jones to a remote northern county where one Federal agent after another has been murdered. Fresh from his journey-and still recovering from a bout of typhoid-he encounters brutality in a churchyard and an unsettling reception from the local authorities. Before the first day of his mission ends, he meets a disfigured effigy of himself, dangling in the winter wind, with a signboard that warns: look heer and no yur fate.

That "great blaze of brains," Secretary of State William Seward, worries about an immigrant insurrection, but Jones discovers instead a haunted world in which lost loves appear from beyond the grave and a girl's cough hints at blood to come. While Jones struggles to make sense of a society set on end, the war bleeds on in a distant winter campaign . . . where a cherished friend has his own tie to the murders.

Beautifully told and ingeniously grounded in history, Shadows of Glory takes readers from the brooding hills and lakes of the troubled North to savage combat in the border states, from the plots and fears of wartime Washington to the immigrant slums that furnished the Union with soldiers. Rich in characters both fictional and historical, gorgeous in its language, clear as winter sunlight and swift as the telegraph that binds a young country together, Owen Parry's new novel broadens the panorama of Civil War America opened in his Faded Coat of Blue.



Shadows of Glory

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