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Gods of Our Fathers
Boston, May 1854. The cobblestones spattered long ago with the blood of liberty-loving patriots are about to be bathed with more blood. Escaped slave Anthony Burns is arrested and charged with violating the Fugitive Slave Act. The streets of the capital city soon swell with riots, protests and arson as barnburners led by John Brown clash with the conciliatory hunkers, the Nativist Know Nothings and thousands of federal troops sent into the city by President Pierce.
Charged with quelling the violence while investigating a series of murders is Cornelius "Vesey" Van Zant, a secretly biracial policeman in the still-disunified Boston Police Department. A former slave, Van Zant is torn between his hatred of slavery and his sworn duty as a Boston policeman, duties that may include arresting John Brown even as the latter incites insurrection in Van Zant's adopted city.
The young policeman is eventually joined by night constable and sign maker Howard Katz; Nathaniel Revere, the brutal and uncompromising great, great grandson of the patriot; pickpocket and former London Bobbie Brendan "Six Finger" O'Riordan and their new coroner, the quirky, brilliant and "ethically pliable" Doctor Henry Bulfinch. The murders of two men at first seem unrelated to the carnage until the team discovers the victims' identities and likely reason for being in Boston.
As the murders get closer to Van Zant's and his mother's home, he slowly realizes the upcoming Burns trial and the series of murders are linked to his own slave past on discovering his true father and the sudden appearance of his long lost half-brother, Jonathan. To complicate matters, the federal troops invading the city also receive the unwelcome help of an old but venerable guild called "The Brotherhood", a group of southern policemen solely dedicated to enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act including killing anyone getting in their way.
The Brotherhood and their mortal enemy John Brown hatch plans at cross purposes albeit with a shared outcome: The tearing apart of one of America's greatest cities as the once dormant abolitionists are inflamed with a renewed purpose. And trapped in the middle is a small, beleaguered police department contending with a city gone mad, ceding authority of that city to federal rule in the very first hours of their unification.
- Publication Date:
- 151971243X / 9781519712431
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 5" x 8"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- Fiction / Historical / General