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The fourth entry in the Bone Rattler series advances the protagonist Duncan McCallum to 1765 and into the throes of the Stamp Tax dissent, which marked the beginning of organized resistance to English rule. Duncan follows ritualistic murders that are strangely connected to both the theft of an Iroquois artifact and a series of murders and kidnappings in the network of secret runners supporting the nascent committees of correspondencewhich are engaged in the first organized political dissent across colonial borders. He encounters a powerful conspiracy of highly placed English aristocrats who are bent on crushing all dissent, is captured by its agents, and sent into slavery in Virginia beside the kidnapped runners. Inspired by an aged native American slave and new African friends Duncan decides not just to escape but to turn their own intrigue against the London lords.
Included in the novel’s cast of characters are figures from our history who have their own destinies to fulfill in the next decade, including Benjamin Franklin (writing from London), Samuel Adams, the early Pennsylvania rebel James Smith, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and, very briefly, a soft spoken militia officer named Washington. The Song of the Oak takes a fresh view on the birth of the new American nation, suggesting that the freedom” that became the centerpiece of the Revolution was uniquely American, rising not just from unprecedented political discourse but also from the extraordinary bond with the natural world experienced by frontier settlers and native tribes.
Eliot Pattison is the author of The Skull Mantra, winner of an Edgar Award and finalist for the Gold Dagger, Water Touching Stone, Bone Mountain, Beautiful Ghosts, Prayer of the Dragon, Bone Rattler, The Lord of Death, Eye of the Raven and most recentlyOriginal Death. Pattison resides in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, two horses, and two dogs on a colonial-era farm.