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An exquisite picture of American life during the Civil War

 

An intriguing Civil War era tale set in the fictional town of Furnass, Pennsylvania. For Captain Judson Walker, a Confederate spy on a mission to protect and assist his charge, Johnathan Reid to purchase two road engines, which are essentially miniature railroad engines that can ride on any road without track, to equip and armor them with Gatlin guns for the war, it should have been like any other mission, despite exposing his men to danger deep within Union territory, until he meets the enticing beauty of one Libby Lyle, wife of Colin Lyle, owner of the ironworks and inventor of the road engines. Soon, Captain Walker finds himself in a tangled web of desire and conflicting moral agendas that threaten the secret mission. Although the characters are well-drawn and the story is richly detailed, it often gets bogged down in the details, nearly grinding the story to a halt on occasion. Add to that a rather anti-climactic ending and the sum of the parts are, well, uneven. What saves Across the River is the author's ability to use such rich detailing to draw the reader into an exquisite picture of American life during the Civil War. Overall, a worthy read.

~TopShelf Reviews