Call Each River Jordan: A Novel of Historical Suspense
, Oct 1, 2001
- 336 pages
The Civil War collapses from illusions of chivalry into bitter reality overnight. A Welsh immigrant to the Union and a veteran of Britain's distant wars, Major Abel Jones survives the battle's slaughter only to face the riddle of a different kind of massacre.Far from the cries and smoke of combat, forty murdered slaves hang at a crossroads. There is little concern for the lost lives, but political dangers worry the leadership on both sides. The blood may be upon Northern as well as Southern hands. In a country shocked by casualty lists and unready for emancipation, only one man, a plain-speaking officer with a limp and a troubled conscience, insists on justice.Ritual murders spur merciless cavalry raids. Political chicanery conceals midnight brutalities. Guerrilla ambushes lead to an underworld of runaway slaves. Desperate men and women make a heartbreaking attempt to build a "city on a hill" in the Mississippi backwoods. And a chain of death proves as relentless as war itself."Call Each River Jordan re-creates the torment of a divided nation -- of shattered families and broken dreams -- yet the power of the human heart to hope underlies even the darkest moments of danger. A master of authenticity, Owen Parry captures the early reluctance of Grant and Sherman to free slaves as uncompromisingly as he portrays the hardscrabble-reality of the Southern backcountry. Whether describing the miseries and joys of a common soldier's life or recounting a slave's lifelong humiliation, "Call Each River Jordan provides a vivid and startling portrait of America's past.Expanding the critically lauded panorama of Civil War America begun in "Faded Coat of Blue and "Shadows of Glory, Parry continues toreach beyond the familiar, cherished myths to depict a nation and its people as they really were: heroes and cowards, the faithful and the faithless, men and women honorable and less so -- and all of them very human. Suspenseful, swift-paced, surprisingly humorous, and populated with the unforgettable characters who have already become a hallmark of his fiction, Parry's latest novel offers a fresh and haunting vision of a past still with us today.