The curse of the Chase family of Concord, Massachusetts strikes again.
It’s 1862 and America is now engulfed in its bloody Civil War. The hatred of Unionists and Rebels reaches back to the lawless gangs – the Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys among them – of the notorious Five Points district of New York.
And once more retired local doctor and amateur detective, Josiah Bartlett, finds himself up against a brutal force.
It is now a decade since the curse began with the drowning of wild child Mary by her own father Henry Chase. Then his wife Sarah was discovered in a pool of blood with her throat slit. And finally youngest daughter Edie was found poisoned in a hotel on a rare visit to the town where she was raised.
There were other victims – bystanders all – of the evil Henry Chase whose killing spree was stopped only by the hand of his own son Timothy, a former Dead Rabbit – a gang of pro-Southern, Yankee-hating thugs who battled for supremacy in the festering New York slums.
Another Rabbit is Jack Lennon who had Timothy’s sister Edie – Lennon’s girlfriend – slaughtered after she had fallen for the charms of a black man. Lennon, as ruthless and cunning as any in the gangland ghetto, manages to dodge the noose. He heads off with a young accomplice to join the Confederate cause.
Timothy, whom the warm-hearted doctor has adopted as his own son, also answers the call to war – but with the Yankees.
The curse is set to reawaken as the battlefield brings these former gangland comrades together again. Will it be the ultimate shown-down?
Daniel Bjork’s Deadly Comrades is the latest in his ingenious crime mystery series which began with Deadly Crossroads, and was followed by Deadly Rendezvous and Deadly Assumptions.
About the author…
Daniel Bjork is Professor of History at St Mary’s University, Texas, and specialises in United States intellectual and cultural history. He is the author of four books, including major biographies of philosopher/psychologist William James and the behavioural psychologist B F Skinner. He teaches all phases of United States history and has developed special topics courses in American biography, including ones on notable entrepreneurs and notorious criminals.