Elizabeth Olson's Reviews > Bone Rattler: A Mystery of Colonial America

Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison
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Jun 01, 11

bookshelves: free-friday, mystery, read-2011
Read in April, 2011

A deeply mysterious mystery novel, set in 1759 colonial America, a time and place when the "New World" and its "savage" inhabitants also seemed inpenetrably mysterious to those who want to settle and conquer this land. A series of murders on a ship traveling to America and later, in America itself, lead Duncan McCallum, head (and possibly only surviving member of) a Scottish clan and indentured servant previously trained as a doctor, to question everything about his present and future, and even his past. As a 21st century reader, I was equally baffled at times by the central mystery, the conditions of the 18th century, the assumptions of the military and the colonists, the shifting alliances among tribes, and the surprising but believable correspondences set out between the Scottish and Iroquois perspectives on life. Fascinating.
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