Bone Rattler: A Mystery of Colonial America [NOOK Book]

Overview

In a novel rich in historical detail, acclaimed author Eliot Pattison reconsiders the founding of America and explores how disenfranchised people of any age and place struggle to find justice, how conflicting cultures can be reconciled through compassion and tolerance, and ultimately how the natural world has its own morality.
Aboard a British convict ship bound for the New World, protagonist Duncan McCallum witnesses a series of murders and apparent suicides among his fellow ...
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Bone Rattler: A Mystery of Colonial America

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Overview

In a novel rich in historical detail, acclaimed author Eliot Pattison reconsiders the founding of America and explores how disenfranchised people of any age and place struggle to find justice, how conflicting cultures can be reconciled through compassion and tolerance, and ultimately how the natural world has its own morality.
Aboard a British convict ship bound for the New World, protagonist Duncan McCallum witnesses a series of murders and apparent suicides among his fellow Scottish prisoners. A strange trail of clues leads Duncan into the New World and eventually thrusts him into the bloody maw of the French and Indian War. Duncan is indentured to the British Lord Ramsey, whose estate in the uncharted New York woodlands is a Heart of Darkness where multiple warring factions are engaged in physical, psychological, and spiritual battle.
Exploring a frontier world shrouded in danger and defying death in a wilderness populated by European settlers, Indian shamans, and mysterious scalping parties, Duncan, the exiled chief of his near-extinct Scottish clan, finds that sometimes justice cannot be reached unless the cultures and spirits of those involved are appeased.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Having already won an Edgar for his Inspector Shan series (The Skull Mantra, etc.), Pattison makes a strong bid for another with this outstanding mystery set in colonial America. Scottish prisoner Duncan McCallum, indentured to the Ramsey Company, is troubled by a series of mysterious deaths on the ship carrying him to the New World. When McCallum's close friend Adam Munroe and a professor who was to work as a tutor are added to the list of the dead, McCallum, who has extensive medical training, is enlisted by the captain to investigate. The shipboard mysteries remain unresolved when they arrive in New York, and McCallum's quest for the truth leads him to perilous encounters on both sides of the French and Indian War. Pattison's moving characters, intricate plot and masterful evocation of the time, including sensitive depictions of the effects of the European war on Native Americans, set this leagues beyond most historicals and augur well for future entries in this series. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Pattison has won numerous awards for his Inspector Shan series (e.g., the Edgar Award-winning The Skull Mantra), set in Tibet. Here, he breaks new ground on the American frontier in 1758. It is a time of high stakes for the French and English monarchs, with warring on every continent. And in North America the Hurons fight against the Mohawks (Iroquois) and the French against the English. No one is safe: death on the frontier is sudden and harsh. Into this world comes Duncan McCallum, chief of his Scottish clan by default, for only his brother and he survived the English depredations. Imprisoned for sheltering an aged relative, McCallum is deported to America. Aboard the ship he is pressed to examine an apparent suicide and uncovers evidence of murder, with more occurring after his arrival in the New World. In the process of identifying the killer, he meets the Iroquois and gains respect for them. The choice of McCallum as detective is a good one: there are many resonances between the life of this highland warrior and the ways of the Iroquois. Recommended for mystery and historical fiction collections.
—David Keymer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582439549
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 360,092
  • File size: 501 KB

Meet the Author

Eliot Pattison is the author of The Skull Mantra—which won the Edgar Award and was a finalist for the Gold Dagger—as well as Water Touching Stone, and Bone Mountain. His Tibetan mystery series is an international franchise. Pattison is a world traveler and frequent visitor to China, and his numerous books and articles on international policy issues have been published around the world. An international lawyer by training, Pattison has spent his career advising and representing U.S. and foreign companies on international investment and trade issues. His extensive publications include over thirty articles on international topics, ranging from research published by several American universities to global policy essays published in Moscow and Tokyo. The author or editor of six books on international business strategy and legal topics, his most recent book, Breaking Boundaries, was selected by the New York Times as one of the five best management books of 1996. Pattison resides in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, two horses, and two dogs on a colonial-era farm. Visit www.eliotpattison.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 719 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(188)

4 Star

(193)

3 Star

(155)

2 Star

(83)

1 Star

(100)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 723 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    A Unique Mystery

    Many years ago (in the '60's) my husband and I both read a series of books about the French and Indian Wars by Joseph A. Altsheler. Bone Rattler is Altsheler for grown-ups, with a mystery thrown in for good measure.

    Pattison is a master of character development and dialog. He also has a gift for weaving thought-provoking issues into his mysteries. In this book, he considers the encroachment of Europeans on the cultures of the Native Americans who were here first; giving positive and negative examples of both cultures. And, in addition to the traditional murder mystery, he also addresses some of the greater "mystery of life" issues that takes the book a step beyond popular fiction and into literature.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It's a mystery, it's a mystery

    I really wanted to like this book. I was intrigued by the premise and I have a great fondness for colonial America. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! This moved so slow I put it down and have no desire to pick it back up. Characters are hard to follow and the story drags on and on. I can sum up the first half of the book as follows: someone is behind a plot, it's a mystery, hey, it's a mystery, did you know it's a mystery? Ggggggrrrrrrr

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    A Very vivid Adventure

    This book is a very unusual and satisfying adventure. All the characters are really well done and a plot that keeps the pages turning. I would recommend this book especially to anyone interested in the American Colonial period of history. Pattison's writing style keeps the story interesting and keeps the reader interested to the next development. A historical mystery to keep everyone intrigued. Did not want this book to end. A good solid read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    Silly Book

    Way too many sub-plots. Many paragraphs read like a string of unconnected thoughts. Every emotion and occurrence is given same amount of weight and excitement - read about half before I gave up entirely.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    While the Seven Year War between England and France is fought on several continents, Scottish prisoner Duncan McCallum is on the prison ship heading to the New World. On the voyage many die including his friend Adam Munroe. The ship¿s captain assigns Duncan to investigate as he has a medical background, but by the time the vessel docks in New York he fails to uncover the reason why so many died.------------- In New York, McCallum continues his inquiries in spite of pressure to hold another prisoner culpable. However, as he concludes that the deaths are tied to the French and Indian War North American segment of the bigger hostility, he also learns that he has been indentured to Lord Ramsey to work off his prison debt. However, what he realizes is that he and the other prisoners are fodder for the war in which different groups want to control New York¿s Heart of Darkness where a massacre once occurred.----------------- Edgar winner (see Inspector Shan novels) Eliot Pattison writes a great French and Indian War whodunit that grips the audience from the opening sequence and never lets go until the final confrontation. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action yet enables the audience to believe they are sailing the Atlantic and later thrust into a war zone. The cast is solid especially the hero who knows how far he has fallen from being the Laird of a failing Scottish clan to an indentured expendable servant. Mr. Pattison provides a winning Colonial Era mystery.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    Excellent historical mystery

    Eliot Pattison has written a wonderful story that draws in parts of American history that many will be only vaguely familiar with and adds in a twisted mystery involving the military and a man trying to build a personal empire in the New World. There's a mystical feel to the world that characters traverse, mysticism from the Highlands of Scotland and the woods of New York.

    If you like your mysteries simple and your characters the same way you won't much like this book. If you enjoy good writing and some depth to your story telling I highly recommend this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    OK

    Nice job with the history, but seemed to drag on and in many times difficult to understand where the story was going.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Eliot Pattison does it again

    Althpugh I don't think this book as one of his best, I did find it interesting if a bit predictable. Overall a great book for the train or a plane ride. The plot was so much like his other books, set in Tibet. The characters were also similar, hence the predictablility.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Colonial mystery with a twist

    B & N offered this as a Friday free Nook download, and I was very impressed with the complexity of the story lines, coupled with the colloquial language and the names of things no longer in use, which concluded with a different kind of denouement. I plan to read more of Pattison.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Confusing and Hard to Finish

    This book was very confusing for the first half, and I had a hard time staying with it. The first chapters were filled with strange events and a lot clues that made no sense at all. Characters were leaving little slips of paper with mysterious words and phrases all over the place. Duncan was a reluctant protagonist and made decisions that went against character. The only reason I kept on reading it was because the time period was interesting. The ending was satisfactory and all loose ends were tied up, but it was a real effort to get through this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    "FREE my A**

    I had this offered for free on the nookcolor on Friday the 11th of March as the "free friday " book, but they charged me the full $9.99 price for it. I havent had a chance to get hold of someone yet but it seems Im not the only one. Check your account!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    Not a mystery

    This book is not even remotely a mystery. It is about someone stumbling through a series of situations that he doesn't understand, but not a mystery. It is slow to develop, moves slowly and ends without imagination. I feel like the author owes me my time back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    Amazing writing and plotting...learn so much about that time, th

    Amazing writing and plotting...learn so much about that time, the Scots in colonial America and their Indian friends and enemies. I rate Bone Rattler and the series a solid 5 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    Really enjoyed this book!

    Pattison brought these characters to life! You connect with them through the mysteries and action, often surprised at the next twist in the plot. Along the way you also learn a bit more about history.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Great Book

    It reminds me of Diana Gabaldons' "Outlander" series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Great Summer Read!

    Aboard a British convict ship bound for the New World, Scottish prisoner, Duncan McCallum witnesses a series of murders and seeming suicides among his fellow Scottish prisoners that thrusts him into the bloody French and Indian War. As the only man aboard with any medical training, Duncan is ordered to assemble evidence to hold another prisoner accountable for the deaths — or face punishment.

    Following a strange trail of clues that seem half Iroquois and half Highland Scot, and mesmerized by the Lord Ramsey’s beautiful daughter, Duncan McCallum, exiled chief of his near-extinct clan, finds the source of all evil at the site of an Indian massacre.

    In BONE RATTLER, Pattison writes a brilliant suspense novel that includes insights about the founding of our country, as well as the spiritual nature of both Native Americans and the persecuted Scots who fled to these shores for refuge, freedom and a new life. It is hard to imagine a subject more relevant in our contemporary world than how democracy can be created, and how disparate tribes and peoples can communicate with and get along with one another.

    Outstanding mystery set in colonial America, this is a "can't put down" book. The plight of the characters, the tension keeps you guessing, and the unusual insight into pre-Independence America is refreshing. The affinity between the displaced Highlanders and the tribes is based on historical fact and makes for an amazing backdrop for the novel. Many mysteries make up the plot including murder, sedition, greed, class, race, spirituality, and an old world facing eradication in the face of rapid change.
    I highly recommend this for anyone looking for an exciting summer read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Nice bit of historical fiction

    Starts off quite slowly, perks up in the middle, with a strong finish. Enjoyed reading a book that portrays native Americans as the many and varied tribes they were, and with empathy for a people trying to hold onto their way of life

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good series

    Good series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Great read!!

    I thought this was a great book! Of course I am a lover of history and this particular time frame made it even more interesting to me! I thought it was well written an held my attention from the first page!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Different

    Caught me by surprise - an interesting read.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 723 Customer Reviews

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