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Library JournalA sweet kid returns home to rural Vermont from the Civil War, nasty and brutish. Not long after, someone sticks a shiv in him. The reluctant detective is a boyhood pal, also a former soldier but missing an arm instead of a conscience. There’s also some romance—legitimate and not so legitimate—and a shady guy from out of town. Heffernan’s (The Dead Detective) latest sounds like a lot of other mysteries, except for its setting and the interweaving of boyhood and wartime scenes. Jubal Foster, the hero, is kin to NCIS’s Jethro Gibbs: laconic and tough; one could see him as a recurring character in a series. Although rather laden with descriptors, the book is still an enjoyable read.
Verdict Mystery fans will zip through this, fans of historical fiction will enjoy the fin de guerre mood, but this novel is more noted for its characters and atmosphere than for an imaginative or mystifying plot.—W. Keith McCoy, Somerset Cty. Lib. Syst., Bridgewater, NJ(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.