The beleaguered capital, now swollen to seven times its prewar population, is filled with saloons, brothels, spies, thieves, and murderers. It is also rife with official corruption and political intrigue.
While investigating what appears to be a routine case of military procurement fraud, Kit becomes embroiled in the murder of a beautiful young woman who has had the misfortune to attend the birthday party of Union General Joseph Hooker, the notorious and charming libertine.
The investigation leads Kit through a series of harrowing adventures - both on the battlefield and in the capital's darkest dens of depravity -until he and Val Burdette must confront a vast criminal conspiracy that threatens both their own lives as well as the fate of the Republic.
A disappointing book due to a very predictable plot and equally predictable characters - the goodhearted prostitute, the young hero soldier fighting bad guys,and the well-known story of corruption/predation in the Union supply line during the Civil War. Many unexplained gaps in the story line and characters. The sexual scenes are equally predictable and, frankly, as boring as they are un-believable.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I'm a fan of historical mysteries, and I like stories that inspire me to rummage in maps and history books to get a sense of things. Unholy Fire certainly did that for me! It has all the necessary elements: a flawed hero, interesting perspective on real historical figures, a good mystery, plenty of suspense, lots of interestingly drawn characters, and a spin on the politics of the Civil War that is revealing. I'm a whole lot more interested in the Civil War now that some of the players are a little more real to me than they were in the 7th grade!