“A slow-building murder tale, but the complicated hero and serpentine wrap-up make it a worthy mystery.” – Kirkus Review
Felix Allaben is a haunted man. Haunted by the memory of his wife, gunned down in a mugging gone awry. Haunted by his responsibilities as a single father of a teenage girl. And, as Bloody Lane opens, haunted by the murder of Curtis Gwynn, an ex-cop whom Allaben had known when both served in the Baltimore Police Department. Gwynn is found dressed in the uniform of a Civil War re-enactor on the hallowed grounds of the Antietam battlefield—shot through the head.
Allaben is a special investigator with the Department of Justice. He has been summoned by a shadowy official in Washington to get to the bottom of the crime. Working in tandem with the local sheriff, Felix weaves his way through a maze of leads, lies, and dead ends in his effort to make sense of this first death and of others that unexpectedly follow. In so doing, he comes up against an armed, active, neo-Confederate hate group operating out of a local gun club and bent on domestic terrorism.
The suspects are many. Among them are an unstable realtor with whom Gwynn was having an affair; her alcoholic, hot-headed husband; their son, a Civil War enthusiast who’s been upset by the unsavory lifestyles of his parents; her brother, a rising politician, and a retired Navy contractor, as well as other members of the aforementioned militia.
Bloody Lane is set in and around Frederick, Maryland, a small city with an intriguing past. The infamous Civil War battle of Antietam, fought nearby, yielded the single bloodiest day in American history. The conclusion is both violent and unsettling.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
BLOODY LANE is a fine mystery novel. It captures the current torment of this country, revealing the Civil War and the conflicts that created it still grip us. The characters are finely drawn, and it is compellingly plotted. A sub plot involving minor league baseball makes for added interest. I highly recommend it.
This suspenseful modern-day mystery has direct echoes of its setting--the Antietam National Battlefield and environs. Former Baltimore police officer Felix Allaben is hired as a special investigator to solve the murder of a re-enactor found shot in the head on the hallowed grounds of the National battlefield. As Allaben digs into the puzzling case, he uncovers dark secrets, unknown connections, and dirty dealings. All in all, a bloody good read!